It’s that bittersweet time of year again. Is there is an emotional battle going on in your mind where part of you wants to be jolly, and the other part of you is so desperately sad?
You could be going through Christmas Grief.
Christmas is one of those seasons that is forced upon us earlier and earlier in the year. Just as the halloween stuff is cleared away, we start hearing the cheerful chimes of jingle bells and the shop windows start twinkling with festivity.
For some people, this is a very exciting time of year, but for those who are not feeling the Christmas spirit, this can feel like a very lonely and depressing time indeed.
If you are one of those people who secretly dread Christmas, want to hide under the duvet, press the fast forward button and get it over and done with as quickly as possible – Don’t worry, you may be going through Christmas Grief, and I have 3 tips for you to cope with this difficult time.
Tip 1 ~ Turn the Grief into a Gift
Let me give you an example of what I mean. My mum passed away a few years ago just before Christmas and she used to love the Christmas plant – poinsettia. She used to buy one for everyone in the family and this would be her Christmas ritual.
The Christmas after she had died, every time I saw a poinsettia plant in somebody’s home, or in the shops, supermarkets or even on TV, I would absolutely break down with overwhelming sadness and my grief would take over. I didn’t ever want to see another poinsettia again because the memory hurt me so much.
Last year, I decided to do something different. I knew that the poinsettia was my trigger for grief, so instead of resisting my grief, I decided to embrace it.
I looked forward to the poinsettias coming out in the shops, so I could carry on my mum’s ritual, and I began buying them for my friends and family as gifts – just like my mother had done, to keep her tradition going.
This small token started to make me feel better and it helped me and my family to remember my mum with fondness with every gift of that poinsettia that I gave.
I turned my grief into a gift, and this still makes me smile.
Tip 2 ~ Remember: You Are Not Alone
Do you feel alone in a crowded room?
Our mind can trick us into feeling desperately lonely and isolated. We may feel that we are the only one suffering in silence and that everyone we know are busy having fun being festive and jolly themselves.
This is not necessarily true. Quite often, we can be fooled by the glossiness of the shop windows, magazine covers and social media profiles.
It’s so important to remember that you do have friends, colleagues, family members or kind people in your world. So, when you may be feeling extra vulnerable and prone to feeling low, begin by acknowledging that this is a difficult time for you, and perhaps start to explain this to those around you.
I don’t mean wallow, I mean gently reach out to friends and family around you and tell them that you find this time of year hard, and you will then be taking control of your feelings of loneliness.
You will find that you are most definately not alone, and that this feeling of loneliness is very, very common. As you reach out through your loneliness, others who feel this way will connect to you and you will be helping someone else too.
The way to help loneliness is to make friends with it.
Tip 3 ~ Read my Book!
I wrote my book Good Grief to help myself cope with my own loss of both my parents and grandmother. As well as deal with a lot of change I was going through in my life at that time. The end of my 15 year marriage, divorce, leaving my family unit, moving away from my home town and becoming a single parent.
The book started off as my own grief diary, and then I realised that there was a lot of powerful stuff in the words I was writing, so I wanted to be able to share my words so I could help others cope with their own grief.
Grief is a cocktail of emotions, and these emotions feel very uncomfortable, so I wanted to honour the emotions that make up grief, so I could learn to be with them, understand them and then also be able to cope with them.
Good Grief does what it says on the tin. Helps your bad grief turn into Good Grief.
About Dipti Tait – Author of Good Grief
Dipti Tait is the author of Good Grief , a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and Lecturer.
Dipti wrote this self help book about how to deal with grief when she lost both her parents to cancer. This was her way of coping, and shares her story and helpful advice with you in this easy to digest book that you can carry around with you.
Visit the website for more information about grief and to buy a limited signed copy of Good Grief.