Grief At Christmas

The holiday season can be a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, for those who are grieving, Christmas can bring a unique set of challenges and emotions. In this blog, we explore the complexities of grief during the festive season and discuss ways to navigate this difficult journey while honouring the memories of our loved ones. 


Be kind to yourself 

Grieving is a deeply personal experience, and there is no right or wrong way to navigate it. Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions, whether it's sadness, anger, or even moments of joy. Understand that healing is a process, and there's no need to rush it. Take moments to prioritise self-care, whether it's a quiet walk, meditation, or simply enjoying a cup of tea. Remember that self-compassion is a powerful tool in the journey of grief, allowing you to move forward at your own pace. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of understanding, patience, and the space to grieve in a way that feels authentic to you. 

The lead up to Christmas can be a very busy time, with a long To-Do list of present buying, preparation of food and attending social events. It’s ok to change your mind and let people know, “Sorry I just won’t be able to do that this year”. Be kind to yourself in deciding what you want to do, not just do what’s happened before.  


Redefining Traditions 

The holidays are often associated with cherished traditions. However, after the loss of a loved one, these traditions can become painful reminders. Consider redefining or creating new traditions that honour the memory of the person you've lost. This could be lighting a candle in their memory, preparing their favourite dish, or sharing stories about them with family and friends. Did your loved one have a favourite carol that you can find online and play some point over the festive period that feels right to sit and remember them? 


Reach out for support 

Grieving during the holiday season can be an isolating experience. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who understand what you're going through. Sharing your feelings and memories can provide comfort and create a sense of connection during a time that may otherwise feel lonely. 


Get involved (if you feel up to it) 

During the holiday season, getting involved in something local can be helpful . Engaging in activities that bring you a sense of purpose n could alleviate some of the emotional weight of this time of year. Consider volunteering for a charitable organisation, joining a festive community event, or immersing yourself in creative activities like crafting or cooking. This may turn in to the start of a new tradition in the years to come.   


Take a break from (social) media  

The holiday season often bombards us with images of seemingly perfect celebrations, adding an additional layer of stress for those who are grieving. Consider taking a break from social media during this time, or perhaps not watching one of the Christmas film with scenes of ‘a perfect family’. Comparing your experience to other people’s lives can intensify feelings of isolation.  

Taking a digital detox allows you to prioritise your mental well-being, reduce unnecessary stress, and create a space for genuine connections with those who understand and support you in life in general  

Use this time to engage in activities that bring you comfort to have a more authentic and healing holiday experience. 


Here are a few related articles you might find helpful:

How Can Books Help With Grief?

12 ways to help a friend through grief