A Basic Guide to Surviving Grief During the Holidays

The holidays is a difficult time of year for everyone, but it can be particularly hard for people who have recently suffered a loss. These tips can help keep the holiday blues at bay.

1. Stay off Social Media

Looking at Facebook photos of others enjoying holiday festivities that you weren’t invited to is a sure-fire way to get bummed out. Do yourself a favour and disconnect for a month or two. You might not even miss it.

2. Plan Ahead

Holiday dinners and the like can seem like huge undertakings, but they don’t have to feel that way. We find that the best way to tackle a problem is to plan ahead and break everything up into small tasks. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for each part you finish, and it’ll keep you busy DOING, rather than dreading.

3. Set Healthy Boundaries

You don't have to force yourself to go to every holiday office party. If attending a tree lighting ceremony or participating in a gift swap feels like too much, respectfully say no. Other people may try to convince you to participate, but you don't have to please everyone.
If you do choose to participate, you might find it helpful to have an escape plan. Drive yourself to holiday functions or ride with a friend who will take you home whenever you want. Just knowing you can easily leave at any time can help you enjoy yourself much more than if you feel stuck.

4. Do Something Kind for Others

Sometimes focusing on other people’s problems can help us forget our own. Donate presents to needy families, volunteer in a soup kitchen, or be a helper at a nursing home. Even if you're grieving, you still have something to offer the world.

5. Ask For Help

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you’re having a hard time. After all, the holidays are about family and friends. A loved one’s support may be all you need, but consider reaching out for professional support. Look for support groups or contact a professional counselor to help you deal with your grief in a healthy way.
If you are feeling suicidal you need to immediately call 911 or speak with a licensed professional immediately. Professionals cannot read your mind and will not assume that you are feeling this way. If you are suicidal, tell someone. We hope you find these tips helpful. Keep warm, safe, and healthy and remember – we’re all in this together.