Christmas can be an especially difficult time for some.  A widow; widower; a recently divorced or separated person; a person with no “significant other”.

Of course none of these examples automatically guarantees struggles at Christmas time, but for each example, there are understandable reasons why a person might have a hard time.  Christmas is traditionally known for being a time for family.  If you have recently been separated from a loved one, through death or otherwise, you could be feeling sad, distraught, alone, “lost”.  If you do not have a partner and wish that you did, you could be feeling envious of others, despondent, desperate.  If you do not have an emotionally healthy family with whom to celebrate Christmas, you may be feeling bitter, angry, or resentful.

Whilst all feelings are valid, and must be taken seriously, and whilst it is certainly not easy to shake negative feelings, I would like to offer you some ideas for how you could possibly cope a little better and feel a little better this Christmas:

  • Be gentle with yourself. You are grieving and the process is unique to you.  Take it one moment at a time; stay in the present moment, savor pleasant memories if you can, and try to not worry about what comes next.
  • Even if it is just a little, simple thing, and you know that it could make you feel a tiny bit better, treat yourself. I’ll not suggest anything here, because a self-treat is a personal thing and you know the sort of thing that would raise your spirits the most this Christmas.
  • If you find yourself comparing your life to the life of another, whether it be the life of a person you know or the imagined life of a person you don’t know, (perhaps a celebrity who you “see” on TV), then try to stop yourself in your tracks. It would likely not help you to spend your energy wishing that your life were different.