Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and magic, but when someone you love dies it can feel like there’s no place for happiness on this day. You may find yourself filled with sadness, anger, or fear. In this blog we explore how to cope with grief at Christmas time.
Resist the urge to fill the void
If you try to fill it with food, alcohol, or other distractions, you are likely to only make yourself feel worse later on. If you try to fill it with new relationships, you may set yourself up for an unhealthy situation that could end in heartbreak when they disappear from your life as quickly as they appeared. If you try to fill it with work and busyness, you might find yourself burning out sooner than later—and feeling even more miserable than before. In short: It’s important not just for your own sake but also for those around you that this holiday season is about being present and enjoying what is truly important—not just what others think should matter in order for them (or us) to feel good enough about themselves during such a difficult time of year.
Remember special memories
Remembering happy memories can help you feel better and give your loved one a chance to live on in your heart. The key is not just to remember special events, but also to include yourself and other people who were important at the time of that event. For example, if it was when your child was born or when they got their first job or even the day, they first met their partner! It’s all too easy for us to think that we are not as important as others in remembering our loved ones’ lives – but this is not true! By including ourselves in these memories, we can honour our relationship with our lost loved one by reminding ourselves why those special times meant so much and how much we miss them now that they’ve gone away from us forever (or at least until Christmas next year).
Focus on gratitude
Think about all the things you are grateful for. It can be as simple as your health, or a loved one that is still with you. This will help to put things into perspective, and it will help to make sure that you’re not focusing on the negative aspects of life without acknowledging the positives. Stop comparing your life to others. Most people who suffer from grief know that they shouldn’t compare themselves to other people because it can lead them down an unhealthy path of self-doubt and negativity, but this is especially true at Christmas time when social media makes it easy for us all too often compare our lives with everyone else’s ‘perfect holiday photos’ online, but remember; everyone has their own problems and struggles in life so try not to let these get under your skin and make yourself unhappy trying too hard! Stop worrying about the future, just focus on what you can do now instead of thinking about what might happen later down the line!
Give yourself permission to grieve.
The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for those who have lost loved ones, because it’s a time when we’re surrounded by images of happiness and joy. You may feel guilty about grieving over what is supposed to be a happy time, but it’s important that you don’t try to hide your feelings or put on a brave face. It’s okay to cry—and it’s not just okay; it’s helpful. Taking the time to grieve will help you heal and move forward with your life.
Let others take care of you.
The first thing people want to do when a loved one dies is help. The problem is that they don’t always know how to help. There are some things that they can do and others that they cannot, so it’s important to tell them what you need and what you do not.
Here are some ideas:
● Ask family members or friends to bring food over for dinner after work, so you won’t have to cook on the day of the funeral or wake.
● Let friends take turns entertaining your kids during holiday gatherings by hiring a babysitter or nanny for the afternoon/evening (especially if there will be alcohol).
● Ask someone else in your family where they want their gifts from friends this year—if it’s too hard for them, just let them know what kind of gift cards would be most helpful for their situation. For example, if someone lost their spouse last year, maybe buy them something at Target rather than another scarf from Bloomingdales!
Reach out for help.
If you are struggling with grief and would like to speak with someone, consider reaching out to a professional for help. Talking about your feelings can be extremely helpful in coping with grief. You may also want to talk about how you feel with friends or family members who have been through similar experiences.
Care for your physical health.
In order to get the most out of this time of year, you need to take care of yourself.
● Eat well. This should be obvious, but it’s important! If you’re not getting enough sleep and eating right, your body may be more susceptible to illness and stress. The holidays are a time for indulgence—but remember that moderation is key.
● Get enough sleep. Going without sleep can have many negative effects on your health, including increased risk for depression and anxiety disorders, as well as impaired cognition and memory function.
● Exercise regularly. It doesn’t matter if your exercise routine is intense or low impact; any regular physical activity will promote good health in many ways (including improved mental wellbeing). Even something as simple as walking around the block every night for thirty minutes can help reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins into the brain. Just make sure not overdo it—you don’t want another thing on top of all those other things.
Acknowledge that it is difficult and accept that it’s OK to skip some of the festivities.
Many people find it difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one during this time of year, and others may feel sadness even when they do not have a particular reason to be sad.
It is important to acknowledge that grief is painful. It’s also normal to feel sad in the first few weeks and months after losing someone you care about. Everyone deals with grief differently, but everyone needs time and space to work through their feelings.
It’s OK if you want or need some time away from festivities this holiday season – whether that means skipping a family get-together or picking up several shifts at your job so you can avoid shopping crowds altogether! The important thing is that you give yourself enough rest so that when you do decide to spend time with loved ones, it feels good for both of us
Find ways to share your grief with others, even if you can’t be together in person.
● Share your story with others. Social media is a great way to connect with people who are going through similar experiences as you, especially if you don’t have local support groups or friends who can relate.
● Write letters and cards to those who are grieving and let them know how much they mean to you. This can be done in person, or by sending a card through the mail or on social media—it doesn’t matter as long as it’s received!
● Make videos of yourself talking about what it means for you to grieve at Christmas time, and share them on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that others can watch them too! You might also want try making audio recordings so that all types of people will be able to listen in comfort since some prefer watching videos over listening directly from their phones/tablets etc…
It’s ok to feel really sad and ask for help.
When we lose someone, we love, it is often the case that the grief becomes more intense around Christmas as our loved one’s favourite times of year are no longer there.
It can be helpful to share your feelings with others. Maybe call up a friend or family member who knows what you’re going through and let them know how they can support you during this time. If that is not possible, try writing down your feelings in a journal or somewhere where nobody else will see them like on an app like “Grief Works” which allows users to anonymously text their thoughts about their mental health struggles and receive responses from trained peer supporters. It might be good for you to skip some of the festivities this year if they are too much for you right now but don’t forget about yourself! Take care of your physical health by making sure that sleeping patterns stay consistent so as not to get sick again (especially important during flu season), eating well balanced meals (and avoiding alcohol), exercising regularly, getting enough water intake (at least 6-8 glasses) throughout each day…
There is no right or wrong way to cope with grief at Christmas time. Some people choose to be more active, and others find that it helps to stay home and rest. You can keep yourself busy by doing something different, like volunteering or going for a walk-in nature. It’s also important to make sure you’re taking care of your physical health so that you don’t get sick from stress or anxiety over this time of year! We are always available to talk through all of your funeral arrangements just visit our website or give us a call on 01452 617892