Christmas Holidays and Loss

Christmas holidays can be challenging times as well as wonderful times for most people.  Christmas is my favourite time of year. I love my family rituals, time with friends, a candlelight church service, Christmas plays, the glitter and lights and the happy faces of my grandchildren as they anticipate the big day. I love the way that the snow changes the face of my neighbourhood and creates a stillness and beauty that is wonderful.

This is not everyone’s experience, however. Sometimes there is loss associated with Christmas and as the season approaches, those losses seem to intensify. It is often most helpful to create new rituals in times like these while still leaving some time for grieving. Increase your self care. Sound impossible in the busyness of the season?Reduce your shopping stress with a thoughtful list and ask a friend or family to help you buy items on your list. When entertaining, buy good prepared foods and use fancy Christmas paper plates to reduce the workload of entertaining while still experiencing the benefits of social times with friends and family. Have a dessert and coffee party instead of a dinner or have a ‘bring your favourite appetizer’ party. These are just a few suggestions that can reduce your stress. Limit your grieving time. Make space to experience the loss for 20 minutes (you choose the amount of time for where you are in the grieving process). Don’t let it take up your whole day. Grieving is healthy and so is living in the present moment. Make time for a massage. The body has its own memory of hurt and a massage can help to heal body memories. Have a pajama day. Engage with someone outside of your hurt for a lunch. Allow yourself to be nurtured and loved by others. Hopefully you will be able to institute some of these suggestions to help with your loss.

Posted by Lynda in Healthier Marriages