Many people struggle with missing family or friends during the holidays. A few years ago, my mother passed away around the holidays. The first year she was gone was very difficult. It somehow seemed wrong to celebrate and be happy without her there. In the article, 5 Tips for Missing Someone During the Holidays, Ross Szabo talks about ways to make the holidays more enjoyable when you are experiencing grief.
- Celebrate the people you have: Many people lose family members or friends due to distance, break-up, divorce, or death. The loss can leave you feeling very lonely. It is important to focus on the people that you do have in your life. Getting together with these people can help provide you with comfort and support. Szabo says if being together isn’t possible, pick up the phone or connect over the internet. He says to do whatever it takes to hear a friendly voice.
- Be aware of triggers: There are many possible triggers, listening to a favorite song, special foods or meals, reading a holiday card or note. You will very likely run into triggers but being aware can help you deal with them more effectively.
- Use helpful coping skills. It is much better to implement positive coping skills such as being present, participating in fun activities or engaging in exercise. Over use of drugs or other addictive behavior to numb unpleasant feelings won’t be helpful in the long run.
- Share feelings about the person you miss: It is better to acknowledge your feelings surrounding missing a loved one. It is good to reminisce, tell funny stories, cry, and get feelings out. The people closest to you will understand. In the long run, it will help you remember favorite memories.
- Connect yourself with bigger things: Make plans to see family or friends, volunteer, attend church or a cultural event, or go on vacation. It is good to be reminded that many people have experienced loss but continue to do things. These activities can also be a pleasant distraction from feelings of loss.
- Music can provide an uplifting experience. Here is a link to a new artist recent released song: “Missing you under the Mistletoe”
Many people struggle with loss and grief during the holidays. Hopefully these tips will provide comfort during what can be a challenging time.
For more information please see the Szabo article.