The most wonderful time of the year is around the corner and everyone's getting ready for another season of joy, togetherness, gifting, caroling, and tasty food. Yet, for a large number of people, this time of the year is also a source of a great stress, exhaustion, and sadness.
Studies show that only 10 percent of people in the U.S. report no stress during the holidays. Also, the holiday season may be exceptionally tough if you recently lost someone close and you are still grieving. All the hustle and bustle around the holidays can increase the feeling of your loss, making the sorrow and loneliness feel bottomless.
For all of you who struggle with the jolliness of the season, here are some effective ways to survive the holidays.
To lessen or avoid the stress throughout the holidays, you need to learn how to respond to overwhelming holiday hubbub in a composed and healthy way. So, let's delve on the most effective ways to stay sane during the holiday season.
1. Keep Organized
If you want to lessen the holiday-related stress, try to avoid the last-minute shopping. Rather make a schedule ahead for shopping, decorating, baking, gathering, and other holiday activities. This way you'll cut your last-minute errands that cause a lot of stress during holidays.
2. Plan Your Budget
Things can easily get out of hand during the holidays. Each year, most of us end up spending a lot more than we originally planned. So, make sure to plan your holiday budget and to stick to it. Also, if you're struggling with the finances, don't spend unreasonably. For instance, instead of buying expensive gifts, give something handmade and original.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Although the holiday season is usually a symbol for family get-togethers and friend-reunions, try to devote some time to yourself as well. Take a break from partying, excessive eating and grueling trips to the malls.
Do some yoga or practice mindfulness meditation instead. Read your favorite book and spend some lazy mornings in your bed. Also, this is a perfect time of the year to count your blessings and think of your New Year's resolutions. Start your days expressing gratitude for all those good things that have come your way.
Devoting time to yourself during the holidays will help renew your energy and help keep the peaceful mind during the holidays.
Loss and Grief during the Holidays
If you recently lost a close person, your life has certainly changed, filling your days with the devastating pain. And the holiday season can be particularly tough for those in a midst of the grieving process. If you're still grieving, it is totally normal that you feel the apathy and indifference towards the approaching holiday season.
However, here are some things you can do to ease the pain and survive the holidays.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
The way you'll cope with grief and loss during the holidays is only your business. Don't feel guilty if you cannot enjoy yourself. It is all right to tell people you just aren't up to celebrations this year.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to mourning during the holiday season. For example, if you don't feel like joining the family or corporate celebrations this year, don't want to sing carols or you want to tune out the holiday season altogether, that's only your choice. So, do whatever you feel like doing and give yourself time to grieve.
2. Reach Out for Support
Seek grief counseling. A professional bereavement counselor can help you accept your feelings and build a strategy for coping with emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual reaction to loss.
3. Externalize Your Loss
Talk about the deceased person. Join a grief support group, online or in your community. Sharing your feelings and thoughts with people who are going through a similar experience can be helpful. In addition, doing small things in the memory of a loved one such as creating a certain tribute during the holidays can also help in your grieving process.
4. Start a New Holiday Tradition
Starting a new tradition with your kids, family members or friends doesn't mean that you have already forgotten a loved one. Doing something different will help you survive the holidays and boost the awareness that you need to move on. Also, don't feel guilty if you find joy during the holiday season. Enjoying the holidays doesn't diminish how much you miss the person you lost.
5. Holiday Good Deeds
Consider helping others during the holidays. Think about joining a local charity or volunteering in your community. Helping others will distract your grieving thoughts and give you something else to think about instead. Additionally, giving and sharing with others will boost your self-esteem; you'll feel better knowing that you are doing something selfless during the holidays.
For many people, holidays can be a stressful and painful time of the year. None of us can escape loss, but the sting of bereavement can be especially painful during the holidays. While you may feel pressure to be happy during the holiday season, it's totally fine if you don't.
In the end, if you need support in overcoming stress or coping with grief during the holidays, reach out for support. We can work on your feelings, boost your coping mechanisms during the holidays, and help you get back on track.