The holidays tend to stir up intense emotions, ranging from unparalleled excitement to profound grief. Grieving over the holidays can be difficult, especially since many other people are focused on experiencing and expressing happiness.
So even though this season may be challenging, there are many steps you can take to ensure a restful holiday. Here are five tips on dealing with grief during this festive time.
1. Let Yourself Grieve
This first step may seem straightforward, but it can be difficult to remember because so many people have high expectations for the holiday. So this year, it’s OK to take space to process heavy emotions and let yourself grieve.
Grieving is how humans process pain; it’s part of the healing process. While grief may never completely disappear, it will become more bearable over time. It also comes in waves, so you may feel fine one day and overwhelmed the next. These fluctuations are expected and your emotions will balance out again over time.
2. Do What Feels Right
Every person processes grief differently. For some, keeping holiday traditions intact may be the best way to move forward. On the other hand, some individuals may find that traditional celebrations are too reminiscent of lost loved ones and thus too painful to engage in so soon.
Give yourself grace and do what feels right for you. If you need to change holiday celebrations, do that. If tradition is the only thing keeping you from falling apart, keep on with what you’ve done in the past. As long as your choices aren’t destructive to your health and well-being, there is no wrong way to celebrate the holidays and cope with grief.