3 Tips for Managing Traumatic Grief During the Holidays

If you have suffered a traumatic loss, you may find that the holidays are an especially difficult time.  With some planning ahead, you can honor your feelings of grief while making the most of the holiday season.  

Tip #1: Set boundaries if you need to

You may not feel up to taking part in all the usual holiday traditions, and that’s ok!  Give yourself permission to check in with yourself and say “no” if you need to. You may feel pressured by well-meaning loved ones to engage in holiday celebrations as usual.  Listen to yourself if you really feel that any activities will cause more pain than comfort.  

Tip #2: Find a way to connect with your lost loved one

An important task of grieving is finding ways to maintain a connection with those who have passed away.  This can be achieved in a number of ways. Cooking their favorite meal, decorating their gravesite for the holiday, creating a special memorial…be creative!

Tip #3: Consider starting a new holiday tradition

Holidays are a time of celebration, but for some, re-creating past traditions can be painful…not to mention failing to live up to our expectations!  It can be helpful to add a new tradition to the holidays. Consider adding a holiday movie night, volunteering for an afternoon somewhere, or going to a holiday parade!  Anything new can bring a fresh energy to the holiday season.