Everyone loves a good party, especially at the holidays, right?
Sparky decorations, indulgent food and drink, festive music, and lots of laughter fill holiday parties coast to coast. What’s not to love?
But what about when you are faced with grief at the holidays?
What about when you’ve lost a loved one or a loved one is sick? What about when you feel lonely, sad, or guilty? Do you still love a good holiday party then?
Because we have experienced this ourselves with the loss of loved ones, we thought it could be helpful to share our tips in how to deal with the holidays (and all of its parties) when dealing with grief. Here are three tips we have learned along the way that can help you cope and hopefully, find peace in the holiday season:
It may seem like the only thing to do…to put on a happy face and pretend you are excited and happy for the holidays and all of the festivities. For some of us, it may be all we know how to do.
But this year, open yourself up to letting your feelings out.
Have you ever had that moment when you feel like you could just break down and cry but instead you take a deep breath, stop thinking about it, and push it back inside?
Rather than keeping those feelings inside, give yourself time and space to let them out. It’s okay if you hear a certain holiday song and need to make a brief exit outside or to the bathroom for a cry. Who cares if you come back with puffy eyes? You’re human and experiencing your authentic self. Good for you for acknowledging your feelings.
Consider what making space for your feelings may look like. Tell yourself it’s okay to let them out next time.
Feeling guilty for laughing or having fun when your loved one is not able to join you? How about experiencing the feeling of being lonely even though you’re surrounded by so many wonderful people?
We’ve experienced the same thing.
We find it helpful to talk with one person who will be at the party about what we’re feeling. We do this because…
1. It helps to have one person know why you’ve been in the bathroom for a while or if you need to leave abruptly. They can help diffuse the situation, change subjects in conversation if needed, and be there to support and encourage you to enjoy as much as possible. Most people want to help others. Allow someone to be there to help you.
2. Sometimes it just helps to tell someone how you really feel! The release of pent up emotions or thoughts can be freeing enough to give your feelings space and acknowledgement as well as new perspective on how you may be able to have a nice time.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking with someone, try writing in a journal about how you feel. Again, the process alone can be therapeutic and give fresh insights.
We find that one of the most important things we can do is be real with ourselves. Grief at the holidays, at events, at weddings – it’s real. All the happiness around us can be a trigger for much sadness within us from the loss of a loved one.
Be real with yourself and acknowledge it. You don’t have to pretend not to feel it. You don’t have to keep it in. You don’t even have to attend if you don’t want to.
Take care of yourself first.
And remember…it’s okay to not have to put on a show for others throughout a party or event or the entire holiday season. It doesn’t showcase your weaknesses, it shows your ability to feel, to love, to be touched by others, and to show your real self. Accept yourself and your feelings.
We find that many of our clients experience grief while planning their event or wedding. How to recognize a loved one who passed, how to get through the day without them, and how to honor their legacy within the event itself are all questions we specialize in helping with.
If you’re planning a party, wedding, or event in Orlando and have questions on this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (407) 365-4729 or email Michele at email@example.com.