8 Tips for Managing Grief During the Holidays

Countless songs and poems praise the holiday season as one of the happiest times of the year, though this is hardly the case for everyone. People who have recently lost a loved one may be dreading the winter months. Our compassionate staff at Staab Funeral Home is here to offer some help for our neighbors throughout Springfield and Sherman.

Here are 8 tips for managing grief this holiday season:

Prioritize self-care.

From shopping for gifts and traveling to see family and friends, it’s easy to overextend yourself during the holiday season. People dealing with grief tend to especially neglect their own needs. This year, set aside some time each day to do something that feeds your soul. Whether it’s visiting a spa or attending a restorative yoga class, try to prioritize self-care even in the midst of grief. 

Keep your plans flexible.

Setting boundaries is crucial to managing grief during the holidays. Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept every invite to a social gathering you receive. It’s also a good idea to drive yourself to holiday get-togethers so that you can leave whenever you choose.

Spend time volunteering.

Spending time helping others may take the focus off of your own grief and as a result, brighten your mood and strengthen your resilience. Consider ringing a bell for Salvation Army, or check with local homeless shelters to see if they need help sorting food donations or serving holiday meals.

Take a break from social media.

Seeing photos of families and friends celebrating with each other on Instagram and Facebook can send you down a self-sabotaging spiral of comparing yourself to others. Focusing on what’s positive in your life right now will help you think less about what’s missing.

Plan your downtime.

If you have a full-time job, you may find yourself with vacation time during the holiday season. Empty hours and days may put your grief front and center. Try to plan activities to keep yourself engaged with others. Arrange to meet up with family and friends when you can.

Celebrate old holiday traditions.

No matter what you and your family like to do during the holidays, keep it up this year, despite how much you may miss your loved one. This sense of normalcy may be a great comfort during this difficult time. Go caroling around the neighborhood or bake cookies if you like—whatever it is you and your loved ones enjoy doing this time of year.

Be patient with your grief.

If you find yourself the only one not smiling and laughing at a holiday party, try to be kind to yourself. Grief works on its own timeline and doesn’t usually dissipate quickly. Tune into your emotions and honor whatever it is you’re feeling.

Seek help when if you need it.

It’s not unusual to need extra help during this time. Check out our grief support services or contact us to be connected with a grief support group in Sangamon County.

Our friendly team is ready to answer your grief-related questions and help you with anything else you might need this time of year. We’re here for you!