Christmas and New Year can be especially difficult if you have lost a loved one. If you are experiencing grief during the festive season, here are some ideas that may help you:
Remember your loved one
This could include lighting a candle, creating a memorial space, or participating in activities that were special to them. For more ideas, please read our article.
Decide what you need – and let people know.
Let your friends and family know what you need during this time. If you need space, say that. If you need someone to talk to, let them know. It’s okay to decline invitations or step away from situations that feel too difficult. Clear communication can help others understand and provide the support you need.
Remember it’s ok to feel sad.
Allow yourself to grieve and understand that it’s a natural part of the healing process.
Be prepared to modify or skip certain celebrations if they are too overwhelming. Choose the activities that feel right for you and how you feel. If your usual festive traditions are too painful, consider creating new ones that feel more manageable. This can help shift the focus and make the season more bearable.
Ask for support
Talk to friends, family, or a support group. Sharing your feelings with others who may be in a similar situation or seeking professional help can be crucial in managing your grief. Friends and family may be able to help you during challenging moments … plan how to handle them and ask for help. They could help with an exit strategy from an event, for example.
Look after yourself
Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Get enough rest, eat well, and involve yourself in the hobbies and activities you enjoy. Manage your expectations and be realistic about what you can handle. It’s okay if things don’t go perfectly and to have moments of sadness.
Remember that everyone grieves differently, and there’s no right or wrong way to navigate the festive season while dealing with grief. Take the time you need, be gentle with yourself, and prioritise your well-being. ‘Do’ Christmas your way this year.