With Easter fast approaching, some people find it especially hard to cope with grief during the holidays. Holidays can be painful reminders that there is now someone missing from your life who was previously involved in the festivities. If you struggle with grief during the holidays, use some of the tips below to help you navigate through these difficult days.
1. Give Yourself Permission to Feel
Many people feel the need to suppress their emotions during the holidays to make it seem as though everything is fine. However, this can do more harm than good. Instead of pretending to be fine, allow yourself to feel the full range of your emotions. It’s not wrong to grieve and it’s especially important to release these emotions during the holidays. That being said, if you feel happy during the holidays, don’t allow guilt to come in the way. Feeling joyful during the holidays doesn’t mean that you are disrespecting your loved one.
2. Give Yourself Permission to Leave the Celebration
Although you shouldn’t isolate yourself and avoid celebrating the holidays, you should give yourself permission to leave any holiday events if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Make sure that you travel with others or on your own so that you will be able to leave in the event that you aren’t able to deal with the flood of emotions. If you can handle it, then that’s great. If you can’t handle it, that’s perfectly fine as well and you should congratulate yourself for trying to get out there and celebrate the holiday with others.
3. Change the Way That You Celebrate
When you lose someone, it can completely change the way that you feel about your holiday traditions. There might have been an important position that your loved one held in a holiday tradition that is now vacant. If you feel as though the way you celebrated the holidays brings you too much pain and sorrow now, it is okay to create a new tradition. Some ideas that you could incorporate into your new tradition include hosting a dinner for your loved one or creating a photo album that you can look at during the holidays.
4. Surround Yourself With Supportive Loved Ones
As stated in the second tip, it’s important that you prevent yourself from isolating during the grieving process. Find some people that you love who are supportive of you and surround yourself with them during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be a large group of people. A few people who will listen and comfort you when you begin to feel sad are sufficient enough.
Volunteering is a great way to spend your time if you feel as though you aren’t able to participate during the holiday season. It will allow you to find joy in others and ignite some happiness in yourself. If you wish to volunteer during the holidays, you will most likely find volunteer positions at a nursing home or a soup kitchen. If you feel as though it would be too difficult to go anywhere or if there are no opportunities in your immediate area, you could volunteer online as well.
Holidays can be difficult for those who are grieving, but it doesn’t have to dominate their entire day. If you find that you have a difficult time coping with your loss when the holidays roll around, use the tips above to reclaim your day and push through the pain.