Coping with Christmas

Coping with Christmas

After any kind of significant loss during the previous year the season of joy, happiness and goodwill can be very daunting.  Unfortunately, however, it won’t go away as the TV, shops, streets etc endlessly celebrate loud and bright. Following are some thoughts of some ways to cope – please accept that these are merely ideas.  This time is when you need to be able to cope in the way that is best for you.  If people don’t want to be with you that may just be their way of coping – please respect this but keep in touch and check in to see they are ok and be prepared for them to change their mind.  Everyone is feeling their own way in this situation – there are no rules for grief.  Having and sharing a plan for the season may avoid tension, argument and misunderstanding.

If you are on your own with no close family or friends

  • Don’t pretend it isn’t happening – there are organisations which provide lunches and goodwill which welcome those who may feel lonely
  • Invite someone around for a meal / walk / cup of tea
  • Offer to help out with others to provide a meal
  • Go away either on an organised trip or on your own if you feel strong enough to
  • Cook your favourite meal rather than traditional Christmas meal and light a candle to remember your loved one
  • Skype or phone someone
  • Treat it as just another day

If you are a family unit who has lost someone

  • Don’t pretend it isn’t happening – there are still others in the family who need to celebrate, especially children
  • Reach out to your extended family and find out what they want, rather than simply assuming
  • Try cooking something different and inventing some new ‘traditions’
  • Buy something for the family as a special present from your loved one
  • Talk about your loved one and honour them – light a candle, get a special tree decoration

If your family has moved to the other side of the world

  • Celebrate with friends or go to a hotel
  • Skype, phone or make contact with the family – keep in touch
  • Make sure you have sent any gifts or cards to arrive in time for their celebrations
  • Share happy moments and memories with others

If you have been through a divorce

  • Think about any family involved and ensure there is as little pain for children as possible – rise above mutual recrimination and blame
  • Team up with friends, go for a walk and do something different – invent new ‘traditions’
  • Avoid lone drinking and allowing yourself to dwell on seemingly happier times
  • Get some good videos or films so you don’t have to face the ‘joy’ of Christmas television