The past or anticipated death of someone we love can be especially difficult during the holiday season, a time when many people around us are celebrating with close family and friends. Rather than being a time of celebration, it can sometimes become filled with sadness, longing, and emptiness. Here are some tips to help you get through this holiday season:

  • Allow yourself to acknowledge that this time of year might be different or difficult and that it’s okay for it to feel this way.
  • Make a plan for where, when and with whom you want to celebrate the holiday. You might want to change your traditions or plans to accommodate the fact that this year feels different and you might need more/different support.
  • Try to anticipate and communicate your needs to others you will be with during the holidays.
  • Consider picking out a gift for yourself that reminds you of the person you’ve lost (favorite music, hobby you’ve shared, picture frame, charm or ornament etc.).
  • Give yourself permission to skip any holiday traditions or events that feel overwhelming.
  • Adopt a family in need through a local charity in honor of your loved one.
  • Say “yes” to those who offer support or help and be specific about what you feel would be most beneficial.
  • Schedule designated time for self-care (reading, journaling, massage, exercise, meditation).
  • Remember that just because this year feels difficult it doesn’t mean that it will always feel this way.
  • Remind yourself that it is okay to feel happiness, love and joy despite your loss. Taking breaks from your grief does not diminish the importance of the person who died.
  • Seek professional support with a therapist who specializes in grief or join a grief support group – especially if your grief is impacting your daily functioning.


Read more of Joanna’s blogs by visiting The Quarter Life Center Blog.