This is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but if you are dealing with grief during the holidays, you may feel more conflicted than joyful. You might feel pressured to be cheerful when your heart is more heavy and sad. If you are grieving or struggling, especially as we approach the holiday season, let yourself feel it. Let the pain and tears, the anger and love, and the helplessness come out in whatever way feels right to you.
Coping with grief during the holiday season: To heal it, you have to Feel it
Dealing with grief during the holidays can be challenging, but you have to give space for it. This can still be hard, whether it’s your first holiday season or your tenth. Know your limits and take care of yourself. Give yourself permission not to participate or to leave an event early. Take a time-out, go for a walk, rest, or cry. Whatever emotions arise for you, it’s essential to let them come, go, and pass through. To heal it, you have to feel it.
Here are six tips for coping with your grief during the holidays:
- Have an exit plan
- Celebrate your loved one(s) that have passed. Don’t forget about them; talk about them. Give them a seat at the table. Find a way to honor their memories.
- Wear something to remember your loved one.
- Do what you feel; do what is right for you – you have a right to do things differently than you did in years past.
- Don’t stay there too long – don’t sit too long in isolation.
Coping with depression during the holidays: Take it one step at a time
Dealing with grief during the holidays is mostly just allowing yourself to feel what you feel from moment to moment. And that’s okay. Don’t force joy. But if you harness a bit of joy over the holidays, that is not a betrayal of your grief. Grief and joy are not mutually exclusive. There are no rules. No judgment. No guilt.
Here are some tips for dealing with grief during the holidays
- Pastor Jeff defines “Traumadies” as when 2 energies collide together to create life-changing moments, while “Triumphody” is when an amazing thing happens in your life.
- 55% of Americans go through “holiday glooms.”
- Sometimes it takes other people in your life to remind you what you’ve done.
- Find joy through life’s storms.