Our senses are a terrific gift. They can help bring back great memories through smells, or the sounds of a favorite song. Sadly, they can also bring back feelings of sadness and grief. This is particularly true for those who have lost a loved one through the holiday season.
Instead of encouraging feelings of joy, Christmas songs, the smells of scented candles, or even watching a beloved holiday movie may reignite a sense of loneliness, sadness, and grief.
How can one grieve well through this season of joy?
Getting through the season can be easier if you intend to enjoy it more. Rather than just letting events dictate your emotions, plan meetings with friends, lunches or dinners, and even gift exchanges. Get or stay involved.
Talk About Your Grief
Don’t repress discussing your grief, especially with those close to you. You will likely find others share similar feelings. While most of us have fond memories of holidays past, they can be peppered with feelings of sadness, loss, or regret. It is not just alright to discuss feelings, it can be very healing.
Be Aware of Your Limitations
There is something to be said about knowing your limits. Don’t attempt to do too much or push through your feelings by staying too busy. It is still fine to spend some time alone as a temporary escape or to recharge.
Don’t be afraid to change some holiday habits that may be adding unnecessary stress. Perhaps you are traveling too much, spending too much time shopping, or trying to entertain too many guests.
Ask for Help
If you find it difficult in scaling down your holiday activities, ask for help. Someone may be available to help with shopping, cooking, or wrapping. If you feel stress rising, it is time to take a break.
Find a Way to Acknowledge the Loved One
If you have lost a loved one during the holidays, don’t be afraid to keep them a part of your holiday traditions. Have a toast, participate in a fundraiser or make a donation in their name, or hang an ornament with their photo on it. The moments of sadness can eventually be replaced with those of love and gratefulness.
Yes, the holidays are a season of joy, but when grieving, they can also be dark, dreary, and sad. This can be especially true here in Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio, where the clouds and the cold weather can settle in for months.
Losing a loved one during the holidays can be a reason for being a little more flexible in your plans. We can help. Contact us to discuss your situation and your options. Our professionals are here to help guide and assist you through the process. You are always welcome to reach out to us.