Holiday Depression When Grieving

For widows the holidays are no longer a joyful time with family, bright lights, presents and they certainly are not in the mood to celebrate.

It seems that the more festive the season, the worse we feel.  We don’t need advice from those that still have their husbands.  There is nothing they can do and we don’t need to be “fixed”, we just need to be heard and loved.

Here are a few tips for dealing with holiday depression when grieving:

  1. It’s okay to say “no” to some invitations, but don’t isolate yourself.  Reach out to those that understand and accept your grief.


2.  Drink in moderation and eat wisely.  It’s just too easy to use alcohol, drugs and food to mask our feelings of sadness.


3.  Express your feelings.  Crying can be therapeutic so talk and share with someone you trust.


4.  Try to get outside walking, sunshine will release chemicals called endorphins, which will in turn trigger positive feelings.


5.  Practice being present in the moment.  It helps to take some quiet time out to reflect on just now much we love and miss them.  It’s okay to be sad.


6.  Create a tribute in memory of our loved one.  A special food, a story of past holidays, a new tradition.  Anything that helps us honor and remember our loved ones, helps us to heal.


7.  Realize that you’re responsible for what you do and what you say, and nothing more.  You are never responsible for how others respond to your grief.

3 Responses

  1. Linda Begley
    | Reply

    My husband passed away 2 years ago on December 9th and Christmas is not the same. I notice that I am eatting to help ease the pain. I am doing little things for Christmas. I am enjoying my two youngest grandchildren who are very excited of the season. My sister in law sent me this site to look at and I am grateful. I am going thru the motions

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Sorry Linda that you are going through this. I can tell that your healing because you are enjoying your two grandchildren. That means you are coming out of the numb stage and that is good. Take care, Mary Francis

  2. BJ
    | Reply

    Doing little things worked for me also, Linda. No big, long lasting events, just a moment here with one or two others, a half hour there to look through a Christmas bake sale. It’s the 8th year for me and things feel much better. Take care and follow your own instincts. Listen for your own inner guidance. Just reaching for that part of yourself (even if you don’t yet hear it) can help the road to recovery.

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