Tips for Caring for Yourself in Times of Grief

By Pat Drake

The Christmas holidays can be a stressful, emotional time for many, and when you’re grieving the death of a loved one, it can be even tougher. Loneliness, guilt, fatigue, and feeling out of sync with the rest of the world are common reactions. Additionally, COVID-19 has made grief a daily experience for many. The loss of our normal lives and worry about you and your loved ones’ health may fill you with an underlying sense of dread and fear. To help with processing your feelings of grief, consider these five tips:

  1. It’s okay to be sad. Grief can bring many different feelings to the surface. The ache of missing someone is often magnified during the holidays. Accept these feelings will fluctuate over time and these emotions are a part of a healthy grieving process.
  2. Pace yourself. Grief can be exhausting. It takes a lot of energy to feel so intensely. Allow yourself plenty of time to do everyday activities, rest when you need to and offer yourself some grace.
  3. Talk about your loss. Grief cannot stay hidden deep within you. One of the best ways to work through grief is to talk about the person who died. Share with loved ones your stories so the memories give you strength and comfort.
  4. It’s okay to accept help. Grieving is exhausting and takes a lot of energy. When family and friends ask if they may lend a hand, its not a sign of weakness to let them. Create a list of things needing to be done and refer to it when someone asks how they can help.
  5. Help others as you feel up to it. Some people find that focusing on the needs of others during the holidays gets them through the season. It feels good to give the gift of time and thoughtfulness.