Dealing with Loss During the Holidays
By Alexa Santory
Losing someone or something you love is never easy. That grief can be felt almost tenfold around the holidays, a time where you’re meant to be with the people you care for the most. Whether you’ve lost someone right around the holidays season, or even months before, it can change your perception of how you celebrate for a very long time. When things feel pretty hopeless, and you’re really deep in your memories of that person or place or time, remember there are always things to do to keep you grounded. We’re gonna give you some of our top tips for coping with loss during the holidays.
How to Handle Loss During the Holidays
One of the hardest parts about loss is the change you have to adjust to afterwards. Say your significant other broke things off with you right before Christmas, now you have to deal with the interrogation from your family plus try to keep on a brave face through the holidays even though you’re heartbroken. Maybe it was a family member who passed and now you know Christmas won’t be the same without them. Whatever type of grief it is, it’s all valid, which is why you shouldn’t try to fight it. This leads me to the first tip…
Feel your grief, just don’t let it consume you
Grief is a completely normal and natural reaction to loss, but suppressing it will only make things a lot more painful. Lean into the pain you feel because you lost something that was probably very important to you. You’re not a robot who has to pretend you’re okay just because it’s Christmas. Let yourself cry, be upset, eat your feelings, let yourself mourn what you’ve lost. Just don’t it take over your life. The person who passed is in a much better place now, and that person who broke your heart? You’re better off without them!
Don’t skimp on self care
The holidays are stressful as it is, so don’t forget to take good care of yourself, especially if you’re dealing with loss. Write down how you feel, take a long shower, call up a friend and have a healthy conversation, or even take a day just to be with yourself and your feelings. Do whatever feels good to you.
Try some new traditions
I know, “new traditions” aren’t exactly traditions, but they can be moving forward. Replacing traditions you used to share with that person can make the day a little less painful. It’ll help keep your mind off the grief and it can give you something new to look forward to. Those old traditions can help keep you connected to someone you’ve lost, too, so if they make the holiday feel a little more comfortable, then keep them!
Surround yourself with love and positivity
After any type of loss, the last thing we want is to be around a bunch of negative Nancys. Try and surround yourself with people and things that ignite your positivity. Surround yourself with people who care for you and love you, and want to see you get better. They’ll always try and keep your mind off the situation and focused on something more joyful. People who are there to pick you up when you’re at your lowest are the ones to hold on to.
Ask for help
You know when you’re feeling down and someone says, “let me know if you need anything.” Take them up on it! Chances are they may be able to help you in some way. And any kind of emotional support when you’re dealing with loss should be welcomed. You don’t have to move through these emotions on your own. Someone who’s offering help just wants to help you see it through and to make sure you don’t get too caught up in your grief. They may not understand exactly what you’re feeling, but anyone who has experienced loss understands how difficult it can be.
It’s important to remember that processing grief is not a straight line. There’s no beginning and end of mourning a loss — some people spend the rest of their lives mourning someone they loved and lost, whether they know it or not. If you’re dealing with someone’s passing, just know that everyone mourns differently and you’re not weird for the way you choose to mourn, especially during the holidays. If you’ve just gotten your heart broken with Christmas right around the corner, here are some ways to move past that.
Breakups and Being Single during the Holidays
Is it just me or do a lot of people tend to get out of relationships around the holidays? What is it about the holidays that makes people wanna break people’s hearts?! Pre-holiday breakups happen for a lot of reasons, and because of the time of year, it always hurts that much more. Here are some of the best things you can do to get through the holidays without your boo (these rules also apply to breakups that happen any other time of year).
Block and delete ‘em. On everything
I’m serious. I’m talking phone number, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, even LinkedIn, get rid of their digital presence! The faster you quit the person who quit you, the easier it gets to move past the situation. You won’t be tempted to call,text, or lurk because it won’t be as easy to access them anymore. Oh and those pictures? Delete those too. You’ll thank me one day.
Don’t reach out
There’s never a “good” time of year to break up with someone — it’s going to be tough regardless. But breaking up with someone around the holidays? Definitely a terrible time. Remember: everything happens for a reason. Whether your mate was dealing with their own issues, you broke up with them, they screwed up, feelings changed, or whatever reason you two ended, give each other time and space to process and heal, and remember that this chapter needed to close. Talking to your ex in the months post-breakup can get super messy, and will usually make getting over them nearly impossible.
But also, why are you reaching out to begin with?! Didn’t I tell you to block them?!
Keep yourself busy
This applies to any loss, but definitely try this if you’ve just experienced the pre-Christmas break up. It’ll help keep your mind off things, plus there are tons of other things to worry and think about on Christmas that you’ll be surprised how easy it is not to think about this person.
Have an answer ready for all those questions
Whether you wanna tell people what happened or not, get ready to answer a ton of questions about where your boo is, what they’re doing, and why they’re not there with you. Having an answer ready to go will make that whole process go a lot smoother.
Spend as much time as possible with your friends
Friends and family are the best things to have around you at a time like this. Go out to dinner with a friend, plan a girls night, or just chill at home with your family — surround yourself with loving, supportive people. You’ll start to feel better sooner than you think!
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