The holidays are here and in full swing, but not every person is ready to put on yuletide and new year cheer. There are some of us who have lost a loved one who has passed away or perhaps a relationship just before this special season. Here are five ways to cope and prepare yourself for the gatherings:
1. Pocket patience and believe that people mean well. Not everyone knows how to approach the subject of loss during a festive season, but make room for those who try. Some are not a master of comforting others during an awkward time but nothing should be taken against them. Even if you are the one experiencing loss be gracious.
2. Reserve your energy for answering what people ask, no need to tell whole story unless requested. It can be taxing to relive the loss word for word. Give yourself time and space, no need to volunteer sharing everything that happened unless someone asks specifically. Save your energy and feelings.
3. Have a coffee sharing session with a positive, amusing friend to unload tears or feelings before the party. Someone suggested shaking off first date nerves by spending time and venting how you feel to a trusted, amusing friend prior to the meetup. In a similar way for Christmas gatherings you can do the same. Let out your apprehensions, tears, and fears with one friend before going. Unload some of that emotion and facing an event full of people should be much easier.
4. Bring that funny friend or relative along with you to huge gatherings. In sailing the course of grief sometimes you just need a first mate on board. It's easier to socialize with someone you trust by your side.
5. Make an effort to smile even if you don't feel like it. Sometimes doing comes before feeling. You made the effort to go to the party, so you might as well make the effort to smile. Don't be a downer just because of your situation, relax of course but if you feel you have it in you to try, smiling is well worth the effort. Don't allow death to kill your moments of living.
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