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Advice for Christmas – Expectations & Guilt

Today’s advice for Coping with Christmas is focusing on Expectations and Guilt.
When someone we cared about has died we can often feel lonely, isolated or overwhelmed. We may long for our friends or family to come and rescue us or we may long to be alone and hide away from the world, both are natural reactions and are ok to feel. The responsibility for making the best of your situation begins with you so drop all expectations you have of yourself and what you should be doing and focus on what you want to do and what you feel is right your yourself.
Christmas is going to feel different. If you find that you want to shut yourself away and spend Christmas alone that’s ok, but try to plan in one or two things that will give you some comfort and pleasure, even if you are choosing to overlook Christmas completely. It is so easy to hide away because we fear we might get upset or emotional. Why deny yourself the opportunity of company or even support and comfort off those around you? Just in case you change your mind, its always good to have a backup plan.
There are many emotions in grief and often we feel multiple emotions at one time. Guilt is one of those overwhelming emotions that many of us feel when a loved one has passed away and we begin to enjoy ourselves once more – here we are enjoying Christmas when our loved one is dead. If you do feel guilty, ask yourself what you would want your loved one to do if it was you who had died, or perhaps what your loved one would have said if they knew how you were feeling. For those moments where everything feels so overwhelming, try to take 5 minutes and focus on your breathing, this may help to put you in a calmer place.