The holidays start EARLY this year with less time after Thanksgiving to get yourself in the mood to deal with them!
It is perfectly normal not to want to celebrate holidays after the loss of a loved one. The holidays are not the same – they may never be the same again But the news is not all bad – there are things you can do to help you get more in a holiday mood. You can ease the grief a little, get spurts or relief, and make the process a bit easier on yourself.
Eventually, you might even enjoy the holidays again!
I know you’ve heard this before…
…staying POSITIVE makes a huge difference!
- Take good care of you – pamper yourself a bit. Get a massage, mani-pedi, watch a happy movie or do something relaxing, and get plenty of rest.
- Make it easy on yourself regarding shopping, gifts, and decorations. Shop online or give gift cards. Explain you can’t handle much this year. People will understand – or they’ll get over it; don’t feel guilty.
- Don’t be alone; accept or ask for support — ideally a good listener who can be empathic without judging or giving too much advice. Try local support groups or online chat rooms re; similar experience. Share your treasured memories.
- Don’t drown your grief – that will just make you feel more depressed. Nutrition (green veggies ease stress), relaxation and moderation are important.
- Try journaling. Let all your honest feelings come out — no one ever has to see what you’ve written. What ends up coming out may surprise you.
- Trust that your loved one’s spirit continues. They’ll be close to you during the holidays. Be open to feel them, look for signs.
- Don’t worry about others’ opinions or expectations.
- Lower expectations about the holidays; plan ahead and decide what you are able to manage or not. Set boundaries and let others know.
- Decide if you want to stay home and be with family or get away to change the scenery. Trust your intuition, do what works.
- Allow yourself some quiet time to feel the grief and process it. Use deep breathing or meditation to help quiet your mind/body.
- Practice being grateful – for what you have now and what you’ve enjoyed in the past. This includes fun memories of loved ones not with you this holiday. It’s okay to both cry and laugh while looking at old photos or videos!
- Reach out and help others during the holiday – amazing how it helps you heal.