Tips for Coping with Grief During the Holidays

For many people this is a joyful time of the year but for others, it can be very stressful and sad especially if they have dealt with the loss of a loved one or another tragedy during the holiday season.

If you know someone who is grieving, the best thing to do is not pull away from them. That only “creates more isolation for that person”

“Continue to reach out and invite them to gatherings and events” says Ami Neiberger-Miller w/ Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS)

TAPS has several suggestions for someone who is trying to recover from the loss of a loved one this holiday season:

  • Take charge of your holiday and map out how you will spend your time. This can help alleviate anxiety.
  • Make plans to spend the holidays somewhere you feel nurtured, emotionally safe and comfortable. Be flexible to respond to your emotions.
  • Find sustenance for your soul by turning to your faith community, which may offer services or resources.
  • Don’t be afraid to change your holiday traditions to eliminate those that may cause pain. Keep the ones that bring comfort.
  • Give a gift or a donation to a charity on behalf of the person you lost.
  • Create a tribute by lighting a candle or displaying a favorite photo.
  • Be gentle with yourself knowing that certain sights may trigger emotions
  • Attend holidays functions if you can and prepare an escape plan, just in case.
  • Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. It does not make the pain go away.
  • Pay attention to your health by getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water.
  • Allow yourself to feel both joy and sadness.
  • Express your feelings through a poem, talking with a friend or creating a painting.
  • Share the season with someone else. Volunteer with a local charity.

Do you have any suggestions that you have found worked for you? Please share.  Let’s take care of ourselves and one another this season.

Nikki Strong

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