Grieving at the holidays

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Senior Living

Published on December 08, 2021 with No Comments

A stressful time when you’ve experienced a loss

If you’ve lost someone, especially if you served as a caregiver, the holidays can be an extremely stressful time. In addition to the strain of the regular holiday hustle and bustle, you may be dealing with a deeper sense of loss that comes with missing a loved one. 

Although it may seem challenging, the following suggest tips you can do to help make dealing with grief this season a bit easier. 

Let yourself grieve. When you’re coping with the loss of a loved one, there’s no right or wrong way to feel. Allow yourself to experience your emotions without judging yourself, comparing yourself to others, or putting yourself on a timetable. Cry or mourn as you need to and don’t try to make yourself feel happy just because it’s the holidays. 

Take care of yourself. It’s important to eat right and exercise every day of the year, but it’s especially important to keep up those healthy habits during times when you feel extra stressed. Physical activity in particular is a good way to release tension and avoid the symptoms of depression. 

Focus on the present. It’s true that the holidays may not be the same without the person you care about. That does not mean you can’t appreciate the beauty and simple pleasures of what’s happening here and now. Take time to enjoy the things you love about the holidays, from a favorite food to a laugh shared with friends or family.

Create a new tradition – or embrace an old one. If you traditionally celebrate Christmas at home, instead you might want to travel and visit family or friends or eat dinner out at a nearby restaurant. 

“Being out of our routine and environment may help take your mind off things,” said Cindy Paquin, American Cancer Society Health Initiatives manager in Indiana. “While the pain is real and you may be experiencing sadness, sharing the holidays with family and new friends can make such a difference. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, but choosing healthy ways to cope can make the holidays a little less stressful.” 

If you need more information about coping with the loss of a loved one, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or visit

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