Tips for the Holidays
By Britney Pieta
Holidays are a special time of year but for some of us it can be a difficult time because we just have suffered a loss or still feel the effects of a loved one’s absence…
Here are some tips for getting through those meaningful but hard days:
Don’t be alone on Christmas or New Years day. Being alone just adds to the already sad thoughts and feelings you might have. It takes a lot of courage to face the world after a death but being alone while the rest of the country is having a good old jolly time except you— won’t do you any good.
Go caroling, visit a nursing home, go to a Christmas play—just get out of the house because you will find that doing something for others will always bring a smile to yours and their face. Spreading Christmas cheer will cheer you up to in the process and the party is just getting started! If you are like me at least go somewhere for the food!
(Side note—One thing to remember is to not do anything you are uncomfortable doing. We are all at different stages of grief and you don’t want anything to open wounds or trigger intense emotions.)
Keep traditions alive. Even if that person who normally did that tradition with you isn’t with you anymore, I believe with all my heart that person is still with you in spirit and would smile to see you continuing it. Traditions will bind you and that person forever and help the memory of him/her carry on.
Create new traditions in honor of your loved one. Along with doing the same traditions maybe there is something new you could do to remember your loved one. It will give the holidays a new meaning and give you a new way to feel closer to that person.
Talk about old memories, play board games, laugh at old videos or pictures from past Christmases or holidays. It is always nice to remember how not all of your life has been “from hell” and that if you had good times then you can have them again.
The holidays are a good time to get your thoughts out on paper.
After you follow these suggestions it is important to write down your memories of how the holiday went for you. You can journal about this, add it to your autobiography/memoir, write your relatives letters, or even post what happened on facebook.
Some questions you may want to ask yourself which you may wish to write about:
How was I able to get or not to get through the holidays this year? What were my feelings and thoughts going through my head?
What was my favorite part/aspect of the holidays?
How can my friends and family make the holiday season easier for me?
What would I like to do next year?