Here we are, the last quarter of 2021. In the final months of the year there are several holidays from a number of cultures and religions.
This is a festive time for many, but it is also a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one. Being a part of celebrations and traditions can make life overwhelming and painful. Holidays have a way a magnifying the death of loved ones.
This is a reminder to take care of yourself during the holidays. It’s ok to start new holiday traditions and rituals, it’s ok to say “This is really difficult,” and it’s ok to cry. There is nothing that can make the grief and pain go away, but there are some things that can assist with getting through the holidays.
TIPS FOR COPING WITH THE HOLIDAYS
- Allow yourself to make changes with traditions that feel right for you. Some things may stop all together, some will change slightly, some may change temporarily, and some traditions my change permanently.
- Acknowledge that holidays are going to be difficult.
- Communicate with your family and friends.
- Be Kind to yourself, get rest, eat well.
- Be kind to others.
- Find something to be thankful for.
- Look for humor – laughing has been shown to reduce stress.
- It’s ok to say “no” to an event or party this year.
- Spend time with people that uplift and support you.
- Write a letter to your loved one about the holidays and how you feel.
- Do something kind or nice for someone every day, it can be something small, like a compliment, or smile at a stranger.
- Spend time with a pet. Hug them, take them for walks or just snuggle.
- Laugh at how silly your pet can be.
- Create a list of people who you can call this holiday season, if you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to call them.
- Allow yourself to find beauty in the holiday season. It’s often found where you least expect it.
- Plan, plan, and plan some more. Often people who are grieving feel more prepared for getting through the holidays if they have thought about all of the parts of the holiday season and have actively made decisions about what is going to happen.
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