Dealing with Grief at Christmas time
Talking about grief at any time is difficult enough but it can seem all the worse during the Christmas period. The festive season can remind us of people who are no longer with us.
This can be made all the more painful when after the frenzy of preparing for the 'big day' the Christmas holiday itself means that life slows down. This can leave us feeling lost and sad, missing those who are no longer with us. We may begin to worry about our sense of belonging and how we going to cope without our loved one.
At times like these, it is important not to ask too much of ourselves. We need to find ways to include the one we have lost; to be able to talk about the deceased.
It is important to practice self care.
Loss is part of life from which none of us can escape. Around holiday time we often feel we have to put on a happy face. At times when we are feeling fatigue, it can be a real struggle to keep upbeat.
If you need help, ask for it. People find it hard to know what to or say around the bereaved so show others what help you need. Be prepared for an answer which is 'no' - others can't always deliver what we want.
It can be tempting to be reclusive and stay in bed; but evidence shows that exercise relieves stress and depression - even a 10 minute walk can make a difference. Make it 20 minutes walk next time; or perhaps visit a friend, or go to the movies. If we can stick to a plan we are more likely to experience periods of enjoyment during this painful season.
Finally, customs which have been set in stone can be changed. Grief demands new rules. Reflect on your 'traditions' and see if they have become a habit and whether they are still working for you. If not, work on creating new ones.
Grief, in all it's forms can help us re-evaluate our lives and build bridges moment by moment enables us to link our past to our present, and onto our future.