Advice for Christmas – All About You
Today’s advice for coping with Christmas is all about you. Christmas can be a time of overindulgence of food and alcohol, and the disruption of your routine can make it easier to forget to look after yourself. Although this may be very difficult, try to stick to a regular sleeping pattern and a relatively healthy diet. We can all overindulge at Christmas but using food or alcohol as an escape from pain of loss only provides temporary relief and can magnify problems when you come out the other side.
It is likely that emotions will take over, but don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. No one will judge you, grief is a natural process, and everyone deals with it differently. During our first Christmas with an empty chair it was like we were all taking it in turns to burst into tears. It may have been sad, but we allowed ourselves to giggle too. Go easy on yourself, you have been through huge emotional upheaval and your feelings are fragile.
Exercise has been proven to improve mood and reduce anxiety – if you are feeling on the edge between “ok” and “not ok” this weekend why not ask a friend to go on a walk, you may find it will clear your head. We each took up walking whenever everything got too much – the poor dog didn’t have a clue what was happening as he was taken on his fifth walk that day! I have kept up regular exercise for many years now as it is the only time where my mind is truly free.
On Christmas Day, try to set aside some alone time in the morning to acknowledge the loss of your loved one. Spend this time remembering them and focusing on your happy memories, allowing yourself this time to feel. You may wish to visit the grave or a special place to your loved one on Christmas Morning or you may wish to just have 5 minutes in the laundry room like I did, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are taking some time for you.
The Cruse national helpline will be open offering a listening ear and emotional support to anyone who has lost someone they love, or been affected by a bereavement. For opening hours please visit https://www.cruse.org.uk/telephone-support/christmas.
Thinking of you this Christmas,