Seasonal events often act as painful reminders of our lost loved ones and a deep void that they have left in our hearts. This especially holds true for the holiday season when there’s endless joy and festivity all around. While everyone is rejoicing, we often find ourselves struggling.
The feeling of loneliness leads to stress, anxiety and restlessness, which often extrudes out in the form of sadness, anger, and resentment. Mood swings become a common norm and the whole world seems to be shattering and collapsing.
If you too are grieving the loss of a loved one or are in distress due to other personal events, you may find it difficult to make your way through the holiday Season. We have jotted down some brilliant strategies that can help you cope up with grief and loss. Follow them and try to make your holiday season a little brighter and a lot more tolerable.
1. Set Your Boundaries
During the holiday season, there’s always an undue pressure of attending parties, family gatherings, and other social events. While your friends and loved ones may persuade you to participate to keep you cheerful, it is absolutely OK to opt-out if you are not feeling comfortable. Check your readiness and find a balance between engaging yourself and pushing your limits.
2. Honor Your Old Traditions
Keeping up with your family traditions is the best way to honor and celebrate people who are no longer with you. So follow your family traditions and keep their memories alive. For example, if your mom used to bake a special Christmas cake for the family, try baking one for yourself (with the ingredients of her choice) this time to remember her with fondness and not grief.
3. Make the Lost One a Part of Celebration
Remembering your lost loved ones during family times offers a lot of comfort to your grieving soul. From placing a candle on the dinner table to leaving an empty chair or sharing your happy memories during remembrance speech, there is a lot you can do to ease your pain.
4. Vent Out Your Feelings
Venting out your emotions is the best way to ease stress and anxiety. So, confide in a friend or a loved one and let them know how you are feeling or what you are going through. Remember, speaking your heart out is a sign of strength, not weakness.
5. Take Care of Your Health
Grief leads to physical, emotional and mental stress. It severely affects our health and well-being. That’s why, during the holiday season, take a little extra care of yourself. Try to:
- Eat healthy, nutritious food
- Drink plenty of water
- Go out for walks
- Exercise if you can
- Try to spend your time with nature
- Practice yoga and meditation for a meaningful mind-body connection
6. Join a Support Group
Connecting with others who are grieving provides comfort and a sense of belonging. So, join a grief support group – online or in-person – to connect with others who have experienced a loss similar to yours and provide each other mutual support to cope up with the feelings.
7. Help Others & Make a Difference
Helping others is the best way to ease your own pain. It helps you to relieve your stress and cope up with anger, bitterness, and resentment toward life. So, this holiday season, consider visiting an orphanage, old age home or a care facility and serve a holiday meal or donate gifts to help people in distress.
8. Visit a Therapist
If you are struggling with holiday grief and are unable to find a way out, visit a mental health therapist for professional help. Your doctor or therapist can help you contemplate your sadness and grief and take the necessary steps to restore your balance and save you from slipping into depression.
While these are some powerful ways to cope with grief, please remember there’s no one way to tackle the emotional overhaul that you might be experiencing. So follow your heart, be kind to yourself, and do what gives you peace. If happiness tries to slip in through the window, allow it to fill your empty space and try to enjoy the festivities with your loved ones. We hope you have a happy and peaceful holiday season. Happy holidays!