Managing the Loss of a Loved One During the Holiday Season

Holiday Season Activities for Grieving Families  

The holidays can be a time of happiness and joy for people but what about for those that have recently lost a loved one or have lost someone around the holiday season? For people dealing with grief, the holidays can be a stressful time.

Here are some activities that you and your family can do if you are grieving this holiday season.

  1. Do some things different this year. Trying to recreate past holiday rituals may remind you more of the loved one you are missing. Perhaps re-evaluate what needs to stay the same and what can be changed or reinvented. Have this discussion with your family so everyone can contribute their ideas. Here are some examples of things you can do differently: Travel somewhere you've never been before, place your Christmas tree in a different location or purchase new decorations for it.

  2. Look after your health. If you've lost your appetite eat smaller portions of healthy foods. Too much sugar in your diet can deplete what energy you currently have. Take your family out on a nature walk to get some exercise and rejuvenate your senses with fresh air and sunlight.

  3. Volunteering to help others is a great way to feel good about yourself and take a break from being alone. Even though you're grieving, it's difficult to be alone during the holidays. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, animal shelter, etc. and give back to the community. Caring for others will nourish your soul and it's a great way to feel joy this holiday season. 

  4. Create a collage of photos of your loved one. You can make a frame or decorate a shoe box with photos and place things that remind you of your deceased loved one inside.

  5.  Light a candle and place in a front window or as the centerpiece of your table during Christmas dinner. Perhaps you could say a special prayer while you light it.

  6. You and your children can create works of art like a drawing, a painting or write a poem or a song, etc. about the deceased. Create stories and share them with friends and family over hot chocolate.

The main thing to take away from all of these ideas is that you should plan your holiday activities to avoid the added stress of coming up with things to do. Also, not planning out the holiday season can allow for more room for painful thoughts and sadness. It's difficult losing a loved one and grieving is part of the process but make sure to take care of yourself and your family this holiday season. Your loved one wouldn't want you spending the holidays any other way than by living your life to the fullest.