How to navigate grief at Christmas

  • 7th December, 2023
  • by Kirsty Jarvie
  • Services Christmas
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Navigating grief is always challenging but during the Christmas season, when we gather with friends and family to celebrate, it can be even more difficult.

Whether you are newly bereaved or it has been years, grief is an unpredictable, personal experience which can evoke a range of heightened emotions during the festive period. If you are struggling to cope, remember that support is available.

4 ways to cope at Christmas time

1. Be kind to yourself and others

It’s okay to allow yourself to feel your emotions, whether those are feelings of sadness, confusion, or joy. Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way.

Recognise that your feelings may change day to day, so take it easy and give yourself time to relax when needed.

There can often be so much change during the festive period too, so trying to maintain a routine can also be helpful. This can be as simple as eating meals at your usual times or going on a daily walk for fresh air.

2. Keep the day low-pressure

While Christmas is generally a joyous occasion, it can be overwhelming. Keep the day low-pressure and don’t feel forced into celebrating if you aren’t ready. There doesn’t need to be any expectations set in stone.

If you decide to celebrate, making plans and allowing yourself to have some fun with loved ones can bring comfort and create positive memories amidst the sadness.

Remember that you’re allowed to change your mind or step back if you feel overwhelmed. Your family will understand.

3. Mix old and new traditions

Christmas traditions can hold a lot of value for families. Blending the old with the new can be a way to honour your loved one and cherish those memories you hold dear.

Consider adorning the tree with a special ornament or playing their favourite song. Do what feels right for your family.

4. Connect with loved ones

In times of grief, nurturing connections with those close to you can be a beacon of support. Reach out for a coffee date or send a text.

Create a space where you can express your feelings openly, but also offer an opportunity to lend a listening ear to others. Small gestures can be powerful in creating a supportive network.

For more information on how Charlie House can help or where to find additional support for your family during bereavement, please click here.


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