Grief during the holidays is often overwhelming, and Chicago, IL residents often say this is when their grief becomes worse. This is especially true when the deceased was a festive person who made the holidays extra special. If you face grief around the holidays this year, trust that you are not alone and you can get through it. Here are five tips on doing just that:
- Say no: There will be holiday traditions that are too painful this year, or just plain overwhelming. You do not have to attend that tree lighting or office gift exchange if you are not feeling it. Rest assured it’s okay to say “no.” People may try to pressure you into a “yes,” but that violates your boundaries and giving in will likely leave you miserable. You will never please everyone, so put your own mental health first.
- Trust that this is part of the healing process: It may be tempting to numb your feelings with alcohol or over-schedule yourself so you do not have to think about grief at all. That approach will likely only make it worse. You will proceed in the healing process much better if you feel your grief as it arises and process it. While this may make the holiday season a sad one, it allows for better long-term recovery.
- Plan ahead: If you know a holiday will be especially grief triggering, make a plan. That includes an escape plan like driving yourself to holiday functions so you have the flexibility to leave if things get to be too much. This can also mean bowing out of heavier promises you may have made when the deceased was still living. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is make the holidays simpler by shouldering fewer responsibilities.
- Create new traditions: While you may feel you should carry on the traditions advanced by the deceased, that may feel like too much, or you may also feel like your efforts will not measure up. Do not do this to yourself. It’s okay to indulge in decorations and baking if that’s what you enjoy and you believe it will help. But if it’s an obligation or even an attempt to resurrect the deceased, you will likely find yourself exhausted and frustrated. Create new traditions, even if they are smaller and simpler. It will help the healing process, and it’s not a dishonor to your loved one. They would want you to be happy and not overwhelmed.
- Focus on what you can control: You cannot turn off holiday music in the grocery store or your coworkers’ conversations regarding their plans. Instead, see what’s within your control. If that means no holiday music at home, limited decorations or shopping for presents online, that is all okay. Other people are happy this time of year, and you can be too—within your comfort zone.
Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. is a family owned funeral home in Chicago, IL. We know that grief around the holidays is no joke, and this can be especially profound if you lose a loved one around this time of year. Call us today to work with a funeral home you can trust.
Categorised in: Grief
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