How to Cope with the Holidays Without a Loved One
As the holidays are meant to be celebrated with family and friends, they can serve as a stark reminder of a recent loss of a loved one. These family gatherings and holiday parties can quickly change from happy occasions to painful obligations during the grieving process. Here are some tips and recommendations that can help you through this period:
1. Don’t attend parties and gatherings if you’re not in the right mindset
If your grief is too raw and fresh, attending these events can be painful. Take a break and engage in other activities that will help you process the grief instead of making it more painful. Watch a play, take a long drive and explore the winter landscape, volunteer for a charity, etc. These activities will keep the mind engaged in a healthy manner and help you process the grief at your own pace.
2. Create new traditions
Create new traditions that can help you cope with the loss and move forward. For example, you can visit the local orphanage or children’s hospital and make some donation in the decedent's name. New rituals and traditions can help you keep the loved one in memory in a positive manner as you focus on good memories and healing instead of loss.
3. Ask for help
If the grief makes the holiday season unbearable, ask for help and take a break away from the holiday environment. For example, you can go on an extended road trip with a friend to get away from the constant holiday cheer. There’s no shame in asking for help or visiting a psychologist to assist you with the grieving process.