We can all acknowledge that the festive season for some of us is less than festive.
Family separation, relationship breakdown, grief or loss can all contribute to a feeling of overwhelm depletion or sadness that can reflect a deep contrast to the surrounding festivities of everybody else’s life.
Perhaps this year has brought you grief or loss and your life now feels like a tipped out jigsaw puzzle and you don’t even know where to begin to put it back together to make a picture of clarity.
Perhaps through the messiness you feel that life has fallen apart. You’re walking through mud with a mask on and guard rails around your heart trying to navigate through this season.
If you’ve experienced the devastation of grief or loss of a loved one throughout this year, as Christmas looms, you soon find yourself feeling isolated with an internal emotional rollercoaster that’s hard to navigate.
Maybe it’s the start contrast. The happy joyous images that surround us, leaving us feeling like there is a great divide that separates us from the rest of the world. Leaving us adrift, trying to stay afloat.
For some of us it’s the memories of past festive seasons. Reminding us of how things were. Reminding us of how things are no longer.
If you are navigating grief this festive season then these tips are dedicated just to you
From a woman who has walked your path.
Number one- Acknowledge your loved one.
Many of the friends or family members that surround us during the Christmas period are doing their best to support you. However sometimes their efforts feel like they fall short. This is often simply because many of us do not know how to support a loved one through grief. Read more here about how to support a loved one through grief.
During this time it is important that you give people permission to support you. This might mean that you need to share what you need for support with your friends. It also might mean that you take the time to simply acknowledge your loved one, as it gives others the permission to do the same.
- This might look like lighting a candle at your family dinner table.
- It might look like setting the table setting for your loved one with a candle or a photo.
- It might look like sharing a beautiful memory with your family and allow them to take turns in doing the same.
I recall many family and friends being apprehensive to mention the loss of our son during the Christmas period. Afraid of saying the wrong thing. Afraid of reminding us. (Like we didn’t already know or remember?).
Everyone is doing their best to navigate and support you. Simply taking the time with a courageous step to acknowledge your loved one with family or friends opens the doorway of love that can be your life raft through this challenging period.
Number two- Completing conversations.
This means simply take some time to write a letter or a card to your loved one. Express how you feel, share what you need and end the letter or card with words of thanks.
Number three – Quiet time.
Allowing quiet moments of remembrance to help recharge your batteries and minimise depletion during this time is essential. The Christmas chaos can be overwhelming and the small moments of quiet remembrance can help you navigate. Remembrance might be planting a flower or a tree. It might be saying a prayer. It might be getting into nature or climbing a mountain. It might be honouring your loved one by giving to a charity. Or it might simply be lying on the grass and looking at the clouds or the stars.
Number four – Surrender to what is.
This means loosening the grip of expectations you have on others. It also means letting go of the need to please others or fulfill their expectations. Allowing things to be as they are, without needing to fix or change, with moments of stillness and appreciation. This will allow you to shine out with courage, grace and authenticity throughout this challenging time.
Don’t forget the simple tips to help your ability to cope with resilience in this podcast here.
Like to learn more about developing resilience through life challenges?
Niky offer’s both online programs for women as well as her four day Rise UP retreat.