How to survive the holidays while grieving 🖤

Nov 17, 2022

If you’ve been feeling the anxiety build in anticipation of the holidays, know that you are not alone. This time of year is already stressful under normal circumstances, but when you are grieving the loss of someone you love it can feel nearly impossible.

That’s what the team at moveTHRU has put together our top 10 tips to support yourself as you navigate grief this holiday season. Grieving during the holidays is hard. Here are some tips that helped me...

10 Tips to Survive the Holidays While Grieving

#1 Accept that the holidays will be hard

  • Unfortunately, there is no way around it. The holidays are just plain hard when you are grieving. Once you name this and own it, you release additional suffering around making yourself wrong for feeling this way.

#2 Stop pretending you are ok

  • It takes up so much energy to “hold it together” and slap on a smile when your heart is breaking inside. Be honest with yourself and instead, try honoring your feelings & what you need right now.

#3 Let go of the need for others to understand

  • Friends & family will try to cheer you up. Remember that their attempts are more about their own discomfort with seeing you in pain and inability to hold space for your grief. Honor YOUR needs right now. It’s ok if they don’t get it.

#4 Give yourself permission to say NO

  • Really, you don’t have to do anything related to the holidays! There is no “right” or “wrong”; or “good” or “bad” choice here. Instead, ask yourself – is this activity serving me right now? If it’s not, then I invite you to just say no.

#5 Plan ahead for triggers

  • If you do choose to participate in the merry-making, be prepared for triggers. Make space for grief before you attend a function or tell a friend or family member why an activity might be difficult for you. Remember that you are also allowed to excuse yourself if the event is too painful.

#6 Find a safe space for grief

  • Whether it’s with a friend, family member, a therapist, by yourself at home, or in a community of other grievers, find a safe space where you can come as you are this holiday season. Share your struggle and feel what you need to feel.

#7 Don’t make your grief wrong

  • The darker emotions of grief contrasted against the lighter tones of the holidays leaves room for lots of “shoulding” on yourself and self-judgment. You might feel like you should feel joyful and happy during this time of year. But after a loss, these feelings might not be accessible to you. It’s
    normal and ok to feel this way.

#8 Make self-care priority

  • Check-in with yourself and honor what you need! Simple shifts like getting exercise, going to therapy, getting a massage, taking a walk in nature, rest (seriously just go to sleep!), drinking water, and avoiding too much alcohol (depressant) – can really support you right now. Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s survival!

#9 Find ways to honor your loved one

  • Carry on an old tradition; place a picture of your deceased loved one at the dinner table; or create photo albums to share as remembrance gifts. Finding ways to maintain the connection to your loved one or honor their life helps soften the pain of not having them there in the physical.

#10 Remember that the holidays won’t feel like this forever

  • Challenge the limiting belief of permanence. The holidays will be different without your loved one, but they won’t forever be this hard. Trust that your grief will evolve and with time, you will remember your deceased with more love than pain.

I see you friend. You don’t have to navigate the holidays alone. 

Which is why I created Without You - my 8-week Holiday Grief Support Group — for anyone who has lost someone they love and needs a safe and supportive space to grieve this holiday season.

From mid-November through the New Year, participants will meet weekly on Zoom for Coaching & Community sessions lead by me and Movement & Breath-work sessions lead by moveTHRU Movement Coach and certified grief yoga trainer Yole Anna Hines. 

You can learn more about the Holiday Grief Support Group by clicking HERE.

All of us at moveTHRU are so here for you!

Sending love & light your way,


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