Top 5 Ways to Cope with Grief During Christmas: A Guide for the Holiday Season

Dec 14, 2023 | KompleteCare News

Coping with grief during Christmas can be challenging.

Here are the top 5 ways to find solace and strength during the holiday season.

Recently, while shopping with my family, we bumped into an old friend who used to enjoy Saturday morning coffees with her husband regularly.

This time, she was alone, sharing the distressing news of her husband’s severe stroke and his rapid decline. She expressed
her profound loneliness and grief just three weeks into this challenging time and the closeness to the Christmas season.

Our hearts went out to her, and we offered any help to assist her during this challenging time.

This encounter served as a poignant reminder that Christmas, while a joyous season for many, can also be a time of deep sorrow for others. Handling grief during the holiday season, especially Christmas, is a daunting challenge.

Recognising the unique ways grief can affect you during this period is crucial. The first step in managing holiday grief is acknowledging that this season may be particularly difficult for you. Accepting this reality won’t necessarily ease the pain, but it allows you to explore effective ways to manage your sorrow.

KompleteCare Top 5 Ways to Cope with Grief During Christmas

Planning Ahead

Navigating through grief during Christmas demands planning. Part of easing the grief can come from setting realistic expectations and accepting that this season will be different for you.

You may have been more active in organising holiday events in the past. This year, however, you might choose to do less, allowing yourself the flexibility to adapt based on your current emotional state.

Setting yourself and others clear boundaries ahead of time can take the stress off your shoulders from any pressures over the holiday period.

Helping Others as a Form of Healing

Research indicates that assisting others can also aid in your own healing process. Consider volunteering at a community soup kitchen, helping a friend with their holiday shopping, or participating in community service.

Focusing your energy on helping others not only diverts your attention from grief but also promotes the release of positive chemicals in your body, like serotonin.

Creating New Traditions

While traditional holiday customs are a beautiful way to celebrate family unity, they can also bring about painful memories while still grieving. Establishing new traditions can create space for new, joyful memories.

Try baking a different recipe, decorating your space with new holiday items, breaking your usual holiday routine or creating unique ways of sharing fond memories of your loved one to keep their spirit alive.

Engaging in Open Conversations

Experiencing grief during Christmas should not be a solitary process. The holidays are about connecting with family and friends, so sharing your feelings and thoughts is essential for mental health.

Discuss with your loved ones what you feel comfortable with and what you might want to avoid this holiday season. Accept the support your family offers in these challenging times.

Top 5 Ways to Cope with Grief During Christmas KompleteCare

Self-Care and Compassion

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Allow yourself time to grieve and understand that expressing your feelings is okay. While it’s natural and perfectly understandable to want to retreat from holiday festivities, try to find a balance that works for you.

Sometimes, pushing yourself slightly to join in can do you a world of good and even make you feel a little better for it.

Honouring Your Loved Ones

Remembering those we’ve lost is essential to grieving, particularly during the festive season. Here are some ways to honour their memory at Christmas:

  • You could light a candle in their memory.
  • Volunteer for a charity that was important to them.
  • Display their favourite flowers on your holiday table.
  • Compile a holiday scrapbook with fond memories of them.
  • Start a new tradition of visiting their resting place during the holidays.
  • Choose a unique tree ornament or topper in their memory.
  • Have a quiet moment or make a holiday toast in their honour.

As the CEO of KompleteCare and someone who will also have a number of empty seats at our table this Christmas, we embrace the opportunity to be there for our beloved clients during the holiday period and understand this may be a difficult time for them.

We encourage all our staff to be compassionate and understanding and encompass a strong sense of community all year round, especially during the holiday season.

This is how we at KompleteCare strive to “put our heart into every home nationwide.”



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