“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” These lyrics maybe true for many but certainly not for all. The holiday season can be a great time, but it can also be one of the most difficult seasons for those who have suffered loss.
Whether the loss was recent or years ago, you may be struggling because grief is resurfacing. The emphasis on family gatherings and joyous traditions can remind you of your lost loved one. How can you cope with this season well and not suffer through it?
Here are a few tips to help deal with loss during the holidays.
Don’t should on yourself!
It is important to be understanding and kind to yourself during this season. This is a tough time period for you as mixed emotions arise. Do not should on yourself by saying statements like, “I should’ve attend this event, baked these cookies, or be happier during the holidays.”
Be gracious to yourself as you would for any friend that has suffered loss instead of shaming or berating yourself.
Allow yourself to feel
If you are happy today, be happy. If you are sad today, be sad. Stuffing your emotions and masking it behind a smile can be one of the worst things for you.
Eventually, you will run out of room to stuff and explode or have a melt down. Once again, you may be going through an array of emotions. It is okay if you feel spirited and joyous one moment and sadness or pain the next.
Your natural instinct during this season maybe to isolate, especially if you believe you are a burden to others or believe it is easier to to be alone. It is important to invite and allow people into your life in times of struggle.
Isolation can perpetuate feelings of loneliness and hurt. Grieve with others who experienced the same loss. Share memories with those who were familiar with the loss loved one. There can be great comfort and healing in the shared grief.
Sometimes old traditions can stir up memories that can be too painful to manage. If even the idea of old traditions bring up too much hurt then create new traditions or alter old traditions to celebrate the holidays.
However, if old traditions helps you grieve and celebrates the lossed loved one’s memory then go forward with the old traditions. Flexibility is the key because each year may look different.
Do not neglect and overwhelm yourself with tasks and busyness during this season. It is important to be in-tuned with how you are doing emotionally, mentally, and physically.
It is easy to get caught up planning events, buying gifts, etc. and overlook your well-being. You may be more delicate during this time period, so it is important to implement self-care.
If the holiday season becomes too overwhelming or you would like some extra support than call Life Counseling Solutions today at 407.622.1770 and set up an appointment or a 15-minute consultation with me. Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram for more tips, encouragement, and posts.
About Colleen:Colleen values the importance of a safe space for people to be open and honest while working through tough situations. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anxiety, trauma, and self-compassion. Also, she enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or race-related issues. Colleen is dedicated to equipping clients with practical skills, so they can better manage and reduce symptoms to live a happier and healthier life. See Colleen’s full bio.