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Dealing With Grief at The Holidays

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Dealing with grief is never easy, and during the holidays, it can be especially painful when it seems that everything around you is about joy. Acknowledging that things will be different and that there will be some difficult moments is an important first step. But there are ways to get through this period of time and find moments of grace, especially if you engage with those who care most about you.  

Self-care during the holiday season: dealing with grief.

  • Keep your daily routine. The holidays can be a hectic period. Friends and family get caught up in special events and activities and it can feel like everyone else has a place to be. This is a good time to remember that what has always sustained you is still important. Don’t let it go. For example, if you are up to it, keep your regular lunch date, attend the computer class, or go for your daily walk. Routine can be soothing and help you stay grounded. 
  • Talk about your feelings. When you are dealing with grief, you are more prone to isolate because you think no one wants to hear about your sadness. Resist the temptation. Isolation is bad for your emotional and physical health. Instead, seek out a grief support group of people dealing with the same issues. Take a walk with a friend and express how you feel. The people who care about you want to be there for you—sharing your feelings is one way to let that happen.
  • Try something new. If being part of a familiar holiday ritual is too hard, then be open to new ways to experience the season. Sometimes the best way to refocus is to do something for someone else. You might find a charity in need of extra hands for delivering gifts to children, or writing cards for patients in the hospital. Taking your mind off your situation could offer some comfort and let you see joy in the eyes of others.
  • Let yourself off the hook. Say no when you don’t want to participate in a particular event. Decide which traditions you do want to honor and which you want to pass on. If you do decide to attend a function, it’s okay to tell your friends you may bow out early if it becomes too difficult. How you grieve your loved one, and how you honor them, is up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to get through this. If all you can do is get through the day, then focus on that.
  • Honor those who have passed. It can be healing to find a meaningful way to honor your loved one when you are dealing with grief during the holidays. For instance, light a candle during a religious service. Dedicate a service’s flowers in their name. Donate to a charity. Plant a tree. You might find this form of giving to be the most rewarding you’ve ever experienced.
  • Ask for help if needed. Holiday grief can bring up an array of feelings. Sadness and tears. Lack of interest in doing anything. Anger that you are going through this. Or guilt over feeling joy. If your feelings are becoming overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to your physician or a therapist.
  • Be good to yourself. Treat yourself gently. Take on only what you can handle. If you decide to skip most of the festivities, make a plan of a few new activities you can explore that would be comforting. It might be a spa treatment. A weekend trip. Just be sure to spend time around caring, supportive people who understand you are dealing with grief and are there to help you.

In a Peregrine Senior Living community, you have the comfort of being surrounded by peers who understand the impact of loss. In our warm and welcoming atmosphere, you will find the companionship and support that can help you find solace, as well as joy, during the holiday season. And through The Peregrine Way™®, you are invited to thrive in a place filled with opportunities to enrich your life, and the lives of those around you. 

At Peregrine Senior Living, you will find a caring and welcoming place to call home. 

A helping hand and a fulfilling life, with the independence you desire—our assisted living is a great option. Contact us today. And download our free guide, Supporting Your Aging Loved One: Caregiver Tips & Tools.

Written by
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

More Articles By
Stephen Sarsfield Bowman

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