Tips to Help with Christmas When You’ve Lost a Loved One

Hi Guys! In today’s post I am giving some tips to help those who have lost a loved one deal with Christmas. Christmas can be a lovely time of the year, but for some it can be a very painful reminder that someone they love is no longer with them. This can make Christmas and the build up to Christmas very hard. So, I have put together some tips to help those who are struggling over Christmas.

1. If you can’t face Christmas dinner at home, take a flask of soup and some sandwiches and go walking on Christmas Day. Doing something completely different can help to lessen the sense of loss.

 

2. If you are finding it too hard to go to the shops during Christmas but you have to buy presents, try purchasing your presents online. Most shops have an online option that will deliver to your house.

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3. Acknowledge that this Christmas will be different, decide which traditions you want to keep, which traditions you want to change and if you want to develop new traditions in memory of your loved one. Examples are:

  • Lighting a candle every night for the month of December by their photo.
  • Donating to a charity in their name.
  • Making their favourite desert every year.

 

4. Set realistic expectations for yourself. If you don’t feel like doing cards, don’t. If you don’t feel like baking, don’t.

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5. Write a letter to your loved one. Write down everything you want to tell them, update them on the latest news, express how much you miss them. When you are finished, burn it in the fire. This is a great technique to help you get a small bit of closure by telling them what you want to tell them, particularly around Christmas time.

 

6. See a counsellor or psychotherapist. Christmas time can be especially tough, so this may be the time to talk to someone.

 

7. When you are having an especially hard day, write how you are feeling in your diary. This is a great way to release your emotions, so that you are not bottling them up.

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8. If you are finding Christmas decorations or Christmas reminders difficult, every time you see one, remind yourself of a happy memory you have of your loved one. You can write this down or just verbalise it to yourself.

 

9. Have a photo table with photos of your loved one at different Christmas celebrations in the past. This will keep them with you during the Christmas season.

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10. When you’re feeling down start a gratitude list. Write down things that you are grateful for at the moment. For example: good friends.

 

11. Make a list of everyone who can help and support you around this time. This helps you feel less alone during this time.

 

12. Write down all of your regrets this past year and burn it in the fire, to help with closure and release.

Christmas can be an extremely hard time. If you are struggling reach out to someone don’t suffer alone. I have also written a post on different ways you can remember your loved one during Christmas, that is available here:  https://reachoutwithniamh.com/2016/12/09/10-ways-to-remember-a-loved-one-during-christmas/

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Niamh-Psychotherapist xx 

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