Grief in the Holidays

Holidays can be extremely hard and triggering for those who are grieving the lost of a loved one.  Here are a couple tips to help:

  1.  Make time/room to include your lost loved one into your celebration: Leave an empty chair, make one of their favorite dishes, have their picture or their ashes with you, and take time during the day to remember them, acknowledge them and thank them for the impact they had on your life.
  2. Create a new tradition: Sometimes we need to create new traditions. This can be challenging for some, so start by adding just one new tradition. It can be as simple as watching a movie or making a new recipe.
  3. Volunteer: If you no longer have loved ones to spend the holiday with, volunteer at a local shelter or homeless outreach. Giving back to others is a great way to increase your feeling of purpose.
  4. Practice good self-care: Go for a walk, take a nap, say no if you need to (and don’t feel guilty about it).
  5. Find a support group near you: There are many grief support groups and being with others that understand what you are going through can be a great help.
  6. Allow yourself to not be happy: It’s OK feel sad on a holiday (or on any day for that matter). Give yourself time to feel the pain of loss and cry if you need to. Just ride it like a wave knowing it will pass.
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