Top Tips to navigate your way through the Pre-Christmas Season
Now the 5th November is over, the shops and TV are full of Christmas. It will be hard to escape the images of happy families together sharing the joy of the season. If you have lost someone special due to bereavement or relationship breakdown you may not be able to imagine how you are going to get through the Christmas season this year.
The anticipation and lead up to Christmas may be worse than the actual day. You might be feeling worried that you may react badly or ruin the holiday for others. This can increase your feelings of grief and anxiety in the run up to Christmas. Here are my top tips to help you navigate your way through the pre-Christmas season.
Although it may be the last thing that you want to think about, do give some thought to what you feel you can and canâ€™t do before well meaning family or friends try to make plans for you. Some things may well be too hard this year and thatâ€™s ok. Donâ€™t feel pressured into othersâ€™ plans and be sure not to accept invitations that you know will cause you too much pain. Talk to the people closest to you about how you feel and explain how you are feeling as the holiday season approaches.
Let others help you
You may find that it is too emotionally exhausting to do everything you have done in the past this year. Instead have a think about it and choose the things that you want to do yourself. Donâ€™t be afraid to then let others help with specific tasks. This will also help those close to you who find it difficult to know how to be around someone who is grieving by getting them to bake, clean, or decorate the tree. This Christmas will be hard, but you will get through it together.
Have a plan for events and large gatherings
If youâ€™re staying with relatives or friends, will you have your own room so that you can slip away to be by yourself if you need to? If youâ€™re going to an event, how long will it last? Will you be able to get away early if you need to? If there are difficult questions, how will you respond? Is it possible there may be emotional surprises such as a dedication to the person you have lost? If so, try and have a plan for how you would deal with this.
Be honest with yourself and others
There is no right or wrong way to approach the Christmas season, but it really helps for you to be honest with yourself and others about how you are feeling. You might want to try and keep Christmas exactly as it has been in the years before. If this is your first Christmas after a relationship breakdown, you may well want to start new traditions. You may want to create a day that is a combination of the two. By giving it some thought beforehand you will be able to plan for most eventualities and take away some of that stress and worry.