The holidays can sometimes be quite lonely, especially after the loss of a loved one, or when diagnosed with a chronic condition. If you don’t have family coming to town, seek out a holiday event with friends, or a dinner at your church or community center. Your Health Advisor can help you find and prepare for the event that’s right for you. Surrounding yourself with love can help brighten your spirits!

Here are 5 of our best tips for coping with grief during the holidays:

01 Allow Yourself to Experience Emotions

There is no single way to grieve. After the loss of a loved one, there’s no telling the feelings you’ll experience, but more than likely, you’ll experience a few. It’s a tough thing to go through, but, when you do experience those feelings of grief, embrace them. If you’re feeling sad, allow yourself time to feel sad. If you’re feeling angry, allow time to feel angry. If you’re feeling joyful, it’s okay! Allow yourself to feel happy and not guilty for experiencing that happiness without your loved one.

02 Honor Your Loved One

If they volunteered during the holidays find a place to give back. Visit your local shelter to help serve Thanksgiving supper or help by donating old clothes to those indeed.

03 Remembrance

Light a candle or set a place at the table in remembrance of your loved one. It will help you acknowledge the impact they had on your life. Spend a few moments meditating on the joy of that person’s life or counting your blessings for the special memories and time you shared together.

04 Start a New Tradition

A lot of times, having to go through with old traditions previously shared between you and your loved one is quite sad. Try implementing a new tradition on your own, or with friends or family. Go out to eat, schedule a trip, add a festive activity to your calendar.

05 Ask for Help

Reach out to friends, members of your care team, and others if you are struggling.

More times than not, individuals who are dreading the joys of the holiday season, due to the loss of a loved one, tend to experience more joy than originally expected. Don’t push yourself to feel what you aren’t feeling, but if you are feeling the holiday spirit, embrace it!

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Want more personalized tips, recommendations, and resources for your health needs?

Click here to learn more about the free (grant-funded) programs we have available for individuals with MS, RA, IBD, hepatitis C, and cancer. From now until #GivingTuesday, we’ll be donating $10 to NeedyMeds for every member who signs up on this page!

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