Wellness Matters

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One During the Holidays

December 24, 2014

By: Patricia Wright

The holidays can be full of joy and anticipation, and it's often our culture's expectation. However, when we've lost a loved one, the holidays may instead become a time of sorrow and stress.

Being aware of the change that grief brings and also doing things with intention can be a part of our healing process, especially during the holidays.

How can I cope with this loss during the holidays?
  1. Be aware that grief needs expression, not repression.
  2. Share with others about your grief and where you are emotionally.
  3. Enlist others as a support system.
  4. Search for meaning and connection with who our loved one was in our life.
  5. Find tangible ways to remember and include the connection with your loved one during the holidays, such as playing certain music that they loved or lighting a candle in their memory at a holiday gathering.
Grief is hard on us - physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. And caring for ourselves is vital while going through grief, yet it's often hard to do.

More ways to cope:

  • Set limits around your time and commitments due to grief. 
  • Prioritize what you feel you can and want to do during the holidays.
  • Exercise, eat well and get plenty of rest. 
  • Do things that bring you joy and laughter.
  • Remember good times with your loved ones.

If you find that your grief is too hard to deal with on your own or you feel it's developing into a more serious condition such as depression, contact a licensed provider with Cone Health Medical Group or Alamance Regional Medical Center's Behavioral Health Services.

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