As we enter December, we are reminded that regardless of which holiday(s) you celebrate or how you celebrate, the holiday season can be a mixed blessing. It is a time to share with loved ones and that often means remembering those who are no longer with us.
Managing grief during the holidays can be challenging, especially when we’re busy with our patients, partners, and people as well as shopping, attending social events, and baking and cooking for ourselves and others.
“People say that grief is a detour on the road of life, but really, it’s just part of the journey.” So, what can we do to make that journey a little less stressful for us during the holidays?
Here are a few tips from The Psychology Group in Fort Lauderdale:
- Identify grief coping skills – Before you attend events, remind yourself of what you can do to stay balanced. Maybe you take a few deep breaths before entering the party. Do what works for you.
- Set boundaries with holiday events – It’s ok to commit to an event and not stay the entire time. It’s also ok to not attend an event if it doesn’t feel right to you. Balance time with others and time by yourself.
- Tune into your grief emotions – Your loved ones likely would want you to enjoy the holidays, so allow yourself to miss them and still enjoy watching the little ones open presents. Part of the joy of being an adult is being able to experience all those emotions at once!
- Honor old traditions and memories – Celebrate your loved ones by carrying on with fun traditions.
- Create new memories and traditions – As Dory from Finding Nemo would say, “Just keep swimming.” You’ll surprise yourself by creating new memories and traditions with your loved ones and those memories don’t erase your other memories.
- Volunteer/do something charitable – There are so many people in need and there are also plenty of opportunities to help others.
- Ask for help – It’s ok to ask your friends, family, or mental health professionals for help.
Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!
Additional Resources: How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays | The Psychology Group