In the years following a loss, holiday plans may change and traditions may shift, causing emotional stress. To help ease your experience, you can plan a few activities ahead of time.
Creating new traditions can be difficult. Yet, reminding yourself that every year is different can help ease emotions. Try to remember how your traditions changed in previous years, not just in the present moment.
Start by setting realistic expectations for yourself. And remember that even if you do make plans, it’s important to take it day by day.
We invite you to consider the following activities over the holidays to help ease your grief.
Generosity releases chemicals in our brains that help lift our spirits. If you’re in the giving mood, try one of the below activities:
- Make a donation to your loved one’s favorite charity.
- Donate a gift in honor of your loved one.
- Volunteer at an organization that is important to you.
- Donate a meal to a struggling family.
If you have children, consider creative activities for coping with grief. This will help them express their grief and help you to channel your own emotions into creative activities. Below are some family crafts for coping with loss:
- Create a remembering ornament.
- Build a tribute scrapbook or cookbook.
- Make a memory box.
- Write a poem and frame it.
Make Mealtime About Remembrance
Mealtimes during the holidays are often when families get together. This may be emotional when your loved one is not at their usual seat or making their favorite dish. Consider making meals a time for remembrance. Below are a few ideas:
- Prepare your loved one’s favorite meal.
- Set a memorial space at the table.
- Decorate the table with your loved one’s favorite flowers.
- Play your loved one’s favorite holiday music at dinner.
If you’re dreading the holidays and in need of additional help, consider attending a support group. Grief support centers assist with the transition after a loss, and many organizations will welcome you, free of charge. Additionally, GriefShare offers a special Surviving the Holidays seminar that provides tips on how to face social gatherings and traditions specifically for this time of year.
If you’re interested in learning more about grief, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services can help. Our compassionate staff offers the highest levels of services and we’re available at any time day or night. Access our Grief Library for reading materials, visit our calendar of events to find a support program near you, or contact us with questions today.