The holidays can be a time of sadness, pain, anger or dread for anyone dealing with an illness, grief or the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, grief can also magnify the stress that is often already a part of the holidays.
Here’s some effective ways to cope with grief during the holidays:
• Offer yourself some grace – Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. If you feel sad, allow the tears to come; if you feel angry, allow yourself to vent some steam.
• Be kind to yourself – Be sure to get plenty of rest and nourishment you need; do not take on more than you can handle; if you need to be alone, then honor that. If you desire the affection of others, seek it out.
• Ask for and accept help – It’s okay to tell your loved ones the best way that they can help you during this difficult time.
• Find support – Sharing your feelings is often the best way to get through them and finding people you can talk to will help. Family and friends can be a great support during times of grief. If they are unavailable, seek help from a grief support group in your area.
• Make a difference – Give to your favorite charity organization or purchase a gift for a needy child. Consider volunteering at a nursing home, hospital, hospice, children’s shelter or soup kitchen. This can help you cope with your grief by contributing to the greater good within your community.
During the holidays, it’s alright to have a good time in spite of your grief. Just allow yourself to feel whatever your heart is feeling in the moment. The best gift you can give anyone you love is that of being true to yourself and living your life to the fullest, even as you adjust to the loss of a loved one.