Grief and The Holidays​

December 13, 2019

Intensified feelings of grief around the holidays is completely normal and actually very common for individuals who have lost a loved one. It might be hard to imagine getting through this time of year without those you are missing, but there are strategies that can help you cope with these feelings. 


We've put together some reminders and tips to help you through this holiday season:


Grief is a necessary part of the healing process. While it's never easy to miss someone -- especially during such a special time of year -- it's important to understand that grief is normal. Time doesn't miraculously heal the pain, but it's what you do during that time that makes a difference. Do not attempt to "numb" or shy away from your feelings. Allow yourself to grieve and feel the pain, as this will help you in the long run. 


Set boundaries. If there is an aspect of the holidays that makes you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to participate in it, even if it was previously a tradition with your lost one. You do not have to extend your anguish. It's ok to need to leave an event early, too. Don't let others persuade your decisions, either. Only you know what is best for you during this time.


Don't let certain things you can't control consume you. Instead of focusing on all of the reminders of the holidays, focus on what you can do to make yourself feel a little better. People around you might be enjoying this time of year and it might be hard to watch; however, understand that it's ok for others to be happy and celebrate the holidays. With that being said, don't allow this to bring you down. Instead, think about ways you can practice self care during these times. 


Don't feel bad about feeling sad -- or happy. As we mentioned above, grief is completely and totally normal. In fact, it's healthier for individuals to go through the stages of the grieving process versus covering up their emotions. Allow yourself to feel and don't be upset when this happens. This means you shouldn't feel bad for enjoying some aspects of the holiday, either. Don't stash your feelings away or think you must feel a certain way. Everyone experiences grief differently.  


Support is available. At Clearwater Counseling, PC, we see many individuals who have experienced loss in their lives. We work with our clients to find strategies that aid them in the healing process. We want to be there for you if you're experiencing these feelings. Don't be afraid to reach out to us. To schedule an appointment, please call 308-210-8487 or email [email protected]g.