The summer holiday season is upon us. For most people this is a joyous time, traditionally sharing gifts with those we love and sharing happy times with our families… and eating too much!
However, for some, this time of year can be daunting…
Each year there are many people who face the holidays for the first time since experiencing the loss of a loved one.
Grief can be a confusing experience and grieving people are often misunderstood because their world has been literally turned upside down. It can show itself in many different emotions and behaviours and is experienced differently by everyone.
Tips for coping with grief during the Christmas Season
1. Acknowledge that the coming holiday season will be different, perhaps even challenging
2. Make plans, but keep them flexible
3. Discuss your plans with other family members in advance
4. Decide which traditions you want to keep or those you want to change
5. Accept that everyone grieves differently, even within the same family
6. Ask for help with the tasks you find daunting
7. Prioritise your commitments and allow time for self-care
8. Acknowledge your loved one in some way. For example; light a candle, hang a special decoration or raise a toast.
9. Allow yourself time to grieve, but also allow yourself to experience times of pleasure and joy
10. Monitor your food and alcohol intake, it can be easy to use these for self-comfort
11. Donate a gift, or some of your time to a charity – honouring the memory of your loved one.
12. Trust your own instincts to know what will be helpful for you