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Taking care of yourself in the midst of ho ho ho – prepping for the holidays


They are supposed to be such a wonderful time of year. 



How are you supposed to be merry and jolly when you are processing such a loss in your life?  You may not feel like being happy. You might want to have people around or you might not.  Family can be supportive but they can also be tiresome with expectations that you can’t or don’t feel like meeting at this point in your life.

Give yourself some grace. Give yourself some time. Take it at your pace. Say yes to what you feel comfortable with and no to those things that don’t feel right for you right now.


Just Breathe.

You can get through this. Just one step at a time. One smile, one tear, one breath at a time. 

Just remember, this is your journey. Do what feels right for you. Feel free to say no or yes to what is right for you.  

A couple of great questions to ponder are:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want and need most now?

From knowing these important things you can then prepare yourself and plan for what you want and need.

Tips & Hints to Prepare for the holiday and get through the days

  • Acknowledge your emotions and feelings
    •  They may be intense. Let them flow. 
    • Take time for your grief
  • How do you want to spend the day? 
    • Alone, working, surrounded by friends or family?
  • Take time for self care – whatever that looks like for you
    • A few ideas, a long walk, a bubble bath, a massage, dinner with a friend, dinner alone, watch your favorite movie, read a book, wrap up in a snuggly blanket.  Whatever makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • Do you know other widows? Maybe write or send them a note.
  • While yummy food and binging might be OK the first year …after that you may want to consider healthier alternatives or at least…portion control.
  • Call a friend and make plans with them for the day or event.
  • Thank others and tell them you love them.
  • Decide if you want to hang their ornaments, stocking, etc.
    • Do what feels right.
  • Do you want to give presents to the kids from them? 
    • Some do and some don’t.  
    • This is another area where you want to do what is right for you and your children.
  • Consider if you’d like to do something in honor of your lost loved one?
    • Write them a letter or poem, save it, read it to them, burn it?
    • Visit their grave site or talk to their urn? Leave a flower or note?
    • Light a candle in honor. Sit with the loss.
    • Journal your thoughts, feelings and desires.
    • Fix their favorite holiday food.
    • Share your favorite memories with your family, friends or children. 
      • How you first met, most romantic date, previous Valentines.
  • Volunteer – 
    • show someone or animals some kindness
    • It’s a great mood booster

If you’re feeling particularly stressed about the holidays we’ve got hints and tips for you in this article: Holiday Stress & Widowhood

Have you been invited to an event and are wondering what to do? We’ve written How to survive a holiday event.

If you are feeling really low or overwhelmed – please get support from a professional – be that your spiritual leader, therapist, coach. Know that you don’t need to do this alone and asking for help and support is the first step to moving forward. 

May Peace and Blessings surround you. May you find comfort and joy in this season of ho ho ho. Take care of you, breathe and move at your pace. Know you are loved & not alone.

As a support, we invite you to download or share with those who’ve lost a loved one our free copy of 10 Ways to Move Forward After Loss 

Peace, blessings, and gratitude,

Jeni & Teresa

PS: For additional support Torn in Half: The First Days as a resource for the first days after a loss – available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.