The holiday season is often hailed as a time of joy, festivities, and celebration. However, for those dealing with feelings of grief, this time of year can be a poignant reminder of the absence of a loved one.
If you find yourself experiencing feelings of loss during Christmas and New Year, we want you to know that you are not alone. Grief is a deeply personal journey, and there is no right or wrong way to navigate it. Here, we explore some strategies to help you cope with grief during the holiday season.
1. Acknowledge your feelings
It’s okay to not be okay. The first step in coping with grief during the holidays is to acknowledge your feelings. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, anger, and longing. Embracing your emotions is a crucial part of the healing process.
2. Set realistic expectations
It’s common to feel pressured to meet social expectations during the holiday season. Give yourself permission to set realistic expectations. Whether it’s scaling back on decorations, simplifying your holiday meal, or opting for a low-key celebration, prioritise your wellbeing over external pressures.
3. Practice self-care
Taking care of yourself is paramount, especially when grieving. Ensure you get enough rest, eat nourishing foods, and take part in activities that bring you comfort. Consider adding relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, into your daily routine to help manage stress.
4. Create new traditions
Traditions can be a powerful reminder of those who are no longer with us. Consider creating new traditions that fit in with your loved one’s memory or focus on activities that bring you comfort and joy. Whether it’s lighting a candle, cooking a favourite dish, or watching a film, incorporating these new rituals can help redefine the holiday experience.
5. Reach out for support
During challenging times, it’s important to lean on your support system. Share your thoughts and feelings with friends, family, or a support group. GriefLine, an invaluable resource for those navigating loss as the free telephone support service provides a safe space to connect with others who understand and can offer support. You can explore more GriefLine blog resources here or call 01279 945089 to speak to the GriefLine team about how you are feeling.
6. Be patient with yourself
Remember to be patient with yourself and allow space for both joy and sorrow during the holiday season.
By implementing these strategies and reaching out for support, you can navigate the holidays with a sense of resilience and compassion for yourself.
GriefLine Open Hours
During the Christmas and New Year period, the GriefLine open hours are as follows:
- Saturday 23rd December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Sunday 24th December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Monday 25th December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Tuesday 26th December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Wednesday 27th December – Open from 8am – 5pm
- Thursday 28th December – Open from 8am – 8pm
- Friday 29th December – Open from 8am – 5pm
- Saturday 30th December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Sunday 31st December – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Monday 1st January – Unfortunately we are not open on this day
- Tuesday 2nd January – Open from 8am to 8pm
If you need to speak to someone about how you are feeling when GriefLine is unavailable, we recommend reaching out to: