Each year at this time, we begin to see it everywhere – messages of family and friends gathering in celebration. However, for those who are dealing with the pain of grief, they become a constant reminder of the loss and loneliness they have suffered. There is hope, though. Here are some suggestions which may be helpful in coping with bereavement during the holiday season:
- Share Memories – through photos and stories or by lighting a special candle
- Express Feelings – surround yourself with people who understand and care, sit with your sadness; tears are healing, allow yourself to cry, accept good feelings; it is ok to laugh and enjoy yourself, you are not being disrespectful to the memory of a loved one
- Set limits – engage in activities that will keep you grounded, choose to socialize, or not, and feel free to cancel or flee an event, let go of the need to do everything; share activities like shopping and cooking – others will understand, plan time to reduce stress – try not to overcommit
- Be kind to yourself – slow down the holiday pace, take one day at a time, find a way to pamper yourself, eat well (even if it is small healthy snacks), get enough sleep (go ahead and nap), exercise (even a short walk helps) and limit alcohol (can lead to depression and alter sleep), talk; seek out support through friends, a group or counselling, if you feel you need it.
Friends In Grief offers free grief support sessions starting in January. To register or for more information, please call (905)318-0059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.