Managing grief during the holidays

The holiday season is here which means celebrating with family and friends. But for those in our mito community dealing with grief, it can be a particularly challenging time.

There are a few things you can do over the holidays that will help you manage your grief and support your loved ones. Please remember that there is always someone you can talk to.

 

Acknowledge and remember

Acknowledge that the holidays may be emotionally difficult. It is important to acknowledge that you are struggling. Remember those you have lost. Encourage memories and value that they have brought.

Communicate

Communicate with your family and friends. Tell them what you do want to do / what you do not want to do for the holidays. Active listening from friends and family is an important step to helping someone coping with grief or overwhelming feelings of loss as well as taking advantage of fleeting time.

Ask for help

It’s okay to admit you are struggling with your grief. Most people find that with the support of their family and friends and their own resources, they gradually find ways to learn to live with their loss. However, if you are finding it difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis, it may be helpful to see a counsellor or other health professional.

Be flexible

Some people find strength in long established traditions while others may choose to do something new. It’s okay to do things differently. Decide which traditions you want to keep / you want to change. You may want to create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.

Make a list

Grief makes it harder for us to concentrate and remember things.  Make a list even if you are not usually a list-maker, and write things on the calendar to help keep you organised. This is a simple way of reducing additional stress.

Self care

Make efforts towards mindfulness, healthy lifestyle and stress management. Self care is very personal and different for each person. It might be meditating every morning or going for a walk, or getting a massage.

Take time off

There is nothing wrong with skipping events if you are in holiday overload. When you need to take some time to yourself instead of attending events, simply let the organiser know that you’re not feeling up to it.

It’s okay to enjoy

Don’t feel guilty for the joy you do find this holiday season. Enjoying the holidays does not diminish how much you love and miss the person who isn’t there this holiday.

Volunteer

Doing something kind for someone else, such as helping at a soup kitchen, delivering presents to the disadvantaged, or working with children, may lift your spirits and help everyone feel better about the holidays.

Follow-up and check in

You may make it through the holidays without any issues. However, you might find the post-holiday period to be more difficult. So remember that these tips can be helpful year round.

 

Support services available over the holiday season: