The holidays are always a special time of joy, wonder, and reflection. But after a significant loss, it’s hard to think of yourself enjoying the special traditions and gatherings with this grief in your heart. Sometimes you might feel like you have to put on a “mask”. Why?
- to protect yourself from overwhelming feelings
- you feel like showing how you really feel might “ruin” the fun for others
- you feel like those around you expect to act a certain way
The burden of keeping up this front only adds to the weight of thoughts & emotions tumbling inside of you. You find yourself looking towards the holidays with dread, stress, and fear.
So why not channel all that energy into something creative? There are many ways to do add creativity to your life, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start. So these next few weeks I'm offering a FREE resource to help you start, mailed right to your inbox. I created 6 craft projects, each tailored to explore one of the following tips for managing the holidays after loss:
- Give yourself the gift of permission & time
- Allow yourself to experience the full spectrum of emotions
- It’s OK to Do Something Different
- Make space to remember
- Giving to Others is the best medicine for a sad heart
- Don’t forget to Be Present
Beware: The goal here is not to get your mind off your grief, but to give you a constructive way to work through it. Putting on a mask might get you through one day, but it won't help you feel better tomorrow.
We also highly recommend that during the holiday season especially, you reach out for some extra help. There are so many ways you can do this. Let your closest friends and family know that this is an especially hard time for you, and enlist their support. If you’ve been skirting around the idea for a while, now is the time to reach out to your insurance provider to see if there’s a local therapist or psychologist in your network who can help. Many churches and nonprofits also offer free services for grieving individuals - all it takes is a simple web search and a phone call. And finally, many online forums, Facebook groups, and courses like Project Grief can be of support to you, regardless of time of day or having to drive somewhere.
May you find that the holiday season is less stressful than you expected, that creatively working through your grief works better than avoiding it, and that sadness and joy can go hand in hand, making your holidays even more meaningful.