Charlotte Tilbury (UK)

How To Handle Grief At Christmas Time

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. For most people. For some it is a time of sorrow and hardships. If you’re dealing with grief, whether it’s new or old, the holidays can be really difficult.

Remember just because everyone else is happy doesn’t mean you have to be. It can be daunting while everyone around you is happy and merry to handle grief at Christmas time, so here are a few pointers.

1. Plan

You don’t need to plan to the second, but I find when you have a schedule and know what you are doing, it can help a little. You can prepare yourself for events rather than have them sprung on you unexpectedly. This way you can give yourself some breathing room.

2. Don’t force yourself 

It doesn’t matter if it is Christmas or that whats-her-face from the office will be devasted if you don’t show to the party; you don’t have to attend everything. Don’t push yourself too soon to show up at social events, especially during a time of grief. There is always next Christmas where whats-her-face will be able to burn your ear off.

3. Watch the bubbles 

If you do end up going to parties mind the amount of fancy champagne you have. Sometimes you don’t realise the feelings you have managed to bottle are still there, and all thy need are a few fancy bubbles to come up again. Just watch yourself with the drink, just so you don’t have a breakdown and have the fear in the morning. Here are some tips to stay safe on a night out.

4. Don’t fake it 

Don’t plaster a fake smile on for your teacher, your boss or your friends or even your family. Even if you think you are being strong, there is no need to cover pain. Remember a problem shared, is a problem halved. And chances are the people you talk to will feel much more empathic towards your feelings this time of year than any other.

5. Give yourself time

Whether it’s a step outside or a whole day in bed with bad movies and an abundance of ice-cream, give yourself the time you need to heal. Remember there is always next year, or even the year after that, where you will be a lot more capable of handling these things with company.

6. Enjoy the Christmas spirit

While it may be difficult, chances are the person who you will miss this Christmas would want you to enjoy it. Don’t dwell too long on things you can’t change or regrets. Try to find a balance between enjoyment and sadness. Always remember it’s okay to be sad, but Christmas can be the most warming loving time of year. Channel that energy and enjoy the joys.

7. Lastly find the balance

For some, Christmas can help with grief, for others it can be a burden on handling grief. Try to find your own middle ground between the joys of Christmas time and your own healing. Just remember to allow yourself to feel all the emotions whether happy or sad, grief or joy. They can all help to deal with grief.

Have you any tips or guidance for dealing with grief at Christmas time.

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Alannah Murray
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