What To Do When The Holidays Hurt

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it?

For many people the holiday season brings up feelings of loss, regret, or painful memories. It can be difficult to feel the happiness and expectancy of the season when you are hurting. If this is your first Christmas without someone you love or your 50th season without someone you love, the pain can be crippling. This holiday season may look different for you and that’s okay!

It is important to give yourself grace.

It’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes we live under expectations, especially at this time of year, that should not be there. Many times, traditions are a big part of this time of year. Maybe this year you start your own tradition or you do not do as much as you would normally do. That’s okay!! 

Reach out 

Find support through a friend, your church, or someone you trust and communicate with them what you are feeling. You are not alone and there are other people experiencing the same feelings as you. Communicate with your support system what you need that day.

Do you want to talk about it?

Do you not want to talk about it?

Do you want them to hug and cry with you or act normal and laugh?

Your support people care for you and need to know what you need. They will not know unless you tell them.

Take care of yourself

Maybe this means seeking support through therapy, eating well and exercising, or laughing more! Schedule something in every day that you can look forward to. It is usually a small thing, but something that brings you comfort. For example, maybe you are having a hard day but you know that when you get home you are going to get under your favorite blanket anddrink a cup of coffee. This is an easy example of self care. Maybe your self care is taking the long way home when you don’t have the kids in the car so you can have 5 extra minutes of quiet. ? This counts too!

Do something for someone else

Acts of service for someone else is one of the quickest ways to boost your own mood. This time of year there are a lot of opportunities for volunteerism, angel trees, or ways to care for others.

If comforting to you, take time to reflect and remember. Grief is not linear and it is totally normal to feel more upset this time of year. Journal, talk out loud to yourself or someone else, or express yourself any way you want to in order to remember, reflect, and get your feelings out.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

We at Foundations Family Therapy are here to help and walk along beside you. If you have experienced a trauma that comes up this time of year, feel free to visit our trauma recovery center. If you are experiencing loss this holiday season, we have offices in North Raleigh, Raleigh, and Fuquay.

Written By Elizabeth Edwards MA, LMFT

Reach Out Today