Helpful hints for surviving the holidays:
Acknowledge grief work as real work
Adjustment to the death of dying of someone close to you does not simply come with time. The work of grief demands that you deal with all the feelings that loss engenders. This work takes psychic and physical energy that can leave you unable to deal with the extra demands of the holiday season.
Allow yourself to merely be human
Avoid perfectionist expectations during the holidays. Let some things slide and enlist in the aid of others.
Sit down with your family and friends ahead of time to discuss and decide those activities, experiences and people that make the holidays special for you. Decide to do a few special things with a few special people, not everything with everybody.
Tell your family, friends and yourself now – and continue to remind them – that you are on a stress reduction diet this holiday season. You will not be over-doing, over-shopping, over-cooking, over-complying, or over-worrying this year.
Change “should” to “wants”
Be aware of your own statements to yourself. Are you saying “I should do this or that?” Decide which of your “should” you really “want” to do and make those your priorities. Remember, you should not “should” yourself; there are enough other people doing that already.
Strive for a balanced lifestyle
With all the parties and demands of the holidays, it is difficult for anyone to get enough rest and exercise. It is easy to overindulge.
Tell others clearly what you want and need for the holidays
Honor the old/create the new
The memory of your loved one will be with you this holiday season no matter what you do. Consider honoring or acknowledging them in some way.
It seems like an impossibility for someone in grief to find joy and peace at any time, but especially during the season for joy and peace. This is your challenge. Life is worth living only to the extent that we make it so. Survivorship means more than merely surviving; it meals fully living. Search for the living path for you and start now.
Create your own memorials
Some ways to create your own memorials are:
Information provided by Hospice of the Valley