Coping with the death of a loved one is hard at any time of year, but it is especially difficult during the Christmas period.
Traditionally, Christmas is a time when everyone comes together to celebrate, so it can be particularly stressful if a loved one is missing. To help you get through this difficult time, we have put together a few pieces of advice to help you get through the festive season.
Try not to withdraw from proceedings
Christmas is a time of joy and festivities, but grief may prevent you from celebrating too much. However, while you may not feel like celebrating, try to resist the temptation of cancelling Christmas altogether.
Make the effort to decorate your home as usual and send Christmas cards to friends and relatives. If nothing else, this will help keep you busy and take your mind off things, at least for a little while.
Spend time with family or friends
At this most stressful time, you will probably find that being alone increases feelings of melancholy. It is, therefore, better if you plan the holiday season so that you are not left on your own too much. Arrange to stay with family or close friends if possible.
Relive happy memories
Your loved one may be gone but they certainly are not forgotten! You can still make them part of proceedings by bringing mementoes along to the festivities. This could be a photograph album or letters, anything that helps you to remember the good times. Sitting around as a family and going through old items like this is a great way of reliving happy memories.
Don’t forget about you
While you get caught up in the festivities, try not to forget about your own wellbeing. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, trying to stick to your normal routine and sleeping patterns as much as possible.
Also, alcohol is readily available at this time of year but try to resist the temptation to use drink as a way to escape the pain. Dealing with your emotions up front and talking them over with family and friends is a more productive and healthy way of dealing with your grief, allowing you to move forward more productively.
There’s no doubt that Christmas is a difficult time to experience loss, but planning the festivities so that you are around close family or friends can help you cope with your grief. Sure, there will be some tears – but there will be happiness and laughter too, which is – after all – the best possible medicine.