Looking after yourself this Christmas
• Make time for yourself. Doing something for yourself that you enjoy, no matter how small, can be a great psychological break from the stress of Christmas.
• Some people find it helpful to create new traditions or new customs to pay tribute to the people who have died. Try not to feel guilty about changing your routine, or about keeping routines that are important to you – whether you spend Christmas somewhere new, or lay their place at the dinner table, do what makes you feel comfortable.
• Tears are a normal part of the grief journey, and so is laughter – moments of happiness or humour don’t mean that you have forgotten the person that has died, but that you are learning to live with your grief.
• Accepting offers of help – from practical support with shopping or a listening ear – can ease the pressure of the festive period and give you time out to recharge your emotional energy.
• If you feel you may experience loneliness over the Christmas period, pick up the phone to friends or family, or an established support line. Many online forums also offer you the chance to connect with others in a similar position to you.
• If you feel things may be getting too much, don’t try to get through it yourself – talk to someone, whether it is a friend, family member, community group or established support line.