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  • Writer's pictureCiara Covey

Navigating Grief During the Holidays

"I want you to know that you can find continued meaning in the holidays and in life. You can continue to live and love fully. You must grieve, but you can also celebrate." - Alan D. Wolfelt

The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness with loved ones. However, for those coping with grief, the holidays can be an emotional minefield, magnifying the sense of loss and making it challenging to find joy and comfort. In this blog post, we will explore some practical tips and ideas for navigating grief during the holiday season and honoring our departed loved ones.

Surviving the Holidays:

  1. Make a Plan and Communicate: In the midst of grief, it's essential to have a plan for surviving the holidays. Communicate your plan with your support system, allowing them to understand your needs and provide the necessary support.

  2. Reflect on Comfort: Ask yourself what will bring you the most comfort during the holiday season. Be open to maintaining or changing traditions based on what feels right for you.

  3. Simplify Your Holiday: Consider simplifying your celebrations by skipping holiday cards, limiting your guest list, ordering meals from a restaurant, and buying gift cards online instead of shopping in stores.

  4. Connect with Supportive Family/Friends: Surround yourself with understanding and supportive family and friends who can provide comfort and companionship during this challenging time.

  5. Mindful Self-Care: Pay attention to your energy levels when planning travel, stay hydrated, limit sugar and alcohol intake, get enough rest, and dress comfortably. Taking care of your physical well-being is crucial during times of grief.

Honoring and Connecting to Your Loved One:

  • Donate or Volunteer: Channel your grief into positive action by donating to a cause your loved one cared about or volunteering your time.

  • Enjoy Their Favorites: Eat their favorite dish, enjoy a favorite drink, wear their favorite color, and indulge in activities or media they loved.

  • Create Rituals: Establish meaningful rituals such as lighting a candle, saying a prayer, setting a place at the table, or writing a letter or poem in their memory.

  • Share Memories: Connect with friends and family by sharing favorite memories of your loved one, creating a collective celebration of their life.

As you navigate this holiday season, remember that reimagining the holidays after a loss is complex, especially in the early years. Reinvesting in your holidays post-loss takes time. Your needs may change throughout the day and emotions will be heightened. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Try to find that balance between acknowledging the pain and allowing yourself moments of joy. Focus on comfort, embrace your support system, and keep those cherished memories alive with meaningful rituals. Wishing you small moments of peace and a whole lot of love this holiday season.

At Rust Wellness Group, our dedicated therapists specialize in providing expert guidance and support tailored specifically to address your needs dealing with grief. You are not alone, we are here to help support you.

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