Tips for Coping at Christmas
Facing Christmas without a loved one is a daunting prospect. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first year without them, or if you were bereaved long ago, Christmas can be painful.
These tips for coping at Christmas may help you feel a little less alone and a little more equipped to face the season ahead.
Take time for you
Don’t be alarmed if your emotions take over, just try to take some time for yourself. Remember there is no right way to grieve. Be kind to yourself; tell others around you what you find helpful and ask for help if you need it. If you don’t feel you have the support you need, seeking professional bereavement counselling may be the right step for you.
Christmas can be a difficult time when you are grieving. Think about what is best for you and your family and remember that it’s OK to take it one day at a time; there might be good days and bad days. Some people may want to cancel Christmas or try something completely different like volunteering or immersing yourself in a creative activity.
Look after yourself
It’s easy to overindulge at Christmas. It’s okay to enjoy yourself, but using alcohol to escape pain only brings temporary relief and can make your feelings harder to manage in the longer term. Developing a good sleep routine and eating well will both have a big effect on your wellbeing.
Remember a loved one
Remembering a loved one is very special and personal. It can help to bring memories of those who have died into the celebrations. You may want to look at letters, photos or treasures alone or share with others. Attending a memorial ceremony like Light Up a Life can provide a safe space to reflect.
Make a memory box
for your loved one and ask other people to contribute to it. Place anything that is meaningful and helpful to you in the box, such as photos, letters, poems, keepsakes or a perfume. Ask people to write about the wonderful times they have shared with them. Talking about your loved one with others really helps heal deep emotional wounds.