The festive period can be particularly difficult for those who have lost loved ones. Grief can really impact your Emotional Wellness, which is a very important factor in our overall wellbeing. When our Emotional Wellness takes a hit, it has a domino effect on the other seven wellness elements.

Whilst grief is unfortunately unavoidable, there are ways that you can cope with it during this period, and protect your Emotional Wellness.

1. Plan ahead

Before the festivities begin, have a think about if there is anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable participating in. You don’t have to agree to events that you think will cause you pain. Think about things that you do want to participate in, whether that’s cooking Christmas dinner, or meeting friends for a Christmas drink.

2. Speak to a friend

Open up about your feelings to a trusted loved one who can offer you support. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help.

3. Honour your loved one

It can help to do something to pay tribute to your late loved one. It might be raising a drink to them, or cook their favourite recipe.

4. Practice self care

Make sure you’re scheduling time in to unwind and look after yourself. Run a bath or read your favourite book.

5. Let yourself be happy

Many people who are grieving feel guilty if they feel happy. If you get periods of happiness over Christmas, let yourself feel that. It’s completely healthy and normal.

6. Watch your alcohol

Alcohol can exaggerate feelings of sadness and it excessive drinking can lead to depression.

7. Get outside

The fresh air and spending time in nature has been shown to be a mood booster. Try and get out every day.

8. Exercise

Moving your body releases feel good endorphins which are essential when you’re dealing with grief. Whether it’s a just a gentle 20 minute walk around the block, try and do some physical activity every day.

Remember that there is no right or wrong way to get through the Christmas period, and if you don’t feel like marking the occasion this year that’s completely okay too. If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional.

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