Grief and the Holidays: Tips for Coping

family at a holiday dinner

Grief from losing a loved one is common during the holidays and can cause an influx of sadness. Christmas music, parties, and festive decorations meant to bring joy can remind us of our losses. Most people who have lost a loved one experience the most pain during the holiday season. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays without your loved one:

Healing comes from grief

You can’t heal a loss with time; what matters is how you use that time. To heal, you must grieve. In the long run, you might feel better if you experience the pain rather than try to avoid it. Experiencing the grief of going through the holidays without your loved one, the holidays will gradually become more manageable.

Establish healthy boundaries

Remember, you can skip a holiday celebration or event. For example, participating in an office gift exchange or attending a tree lighting ceremony may bring back too many painful memories for you this year. Even if others try to persuade you, you don’t have to please everyone.

Have an escape plan if needed

Creating an exit plan is a good idea when you think an event will trigger a flood of emotions. For example, get a ride home with a trusted friend or drive yourself to holiday functions. Having the option to leave at any time can make the activity more enjoyable than if you felt stuck in a situation.

Embrace your memories

You can commemorate the person you’ve lost in a special way. Honoring your loved one can be a tangible reminder that, although they are gone, the love they left behind never fades.

Establish new traditions

This year, don’t be afraid to create new traditions. Get creative and try some things that are a bit different. Old traditions can be adapted to fit the latest stage in your life.

Kindness is the best medicine

Grief doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the world. Grieving people can benefit from participating in acts of kindness to others. For example, you can help needy families by donating gifts, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or making crafts with others.

Ask for help

When struggling with the holidays, never be afraid to ask for help. Even if you can’t reach out for more support, reminding loved ones you’re going through a rough time may be enough. Consider joining a support group or hiring a counselor to help you deal with your grief.

At Three Tree Vista, our loving home is owned and operated by three generations with a heritage of caring. We pay close attention to those widowed or missing loved ones during the holiday season. If you are interested in a tour for your elderly family member or friend, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a tour.