While the Festive Season may be a time for many people join with their friends and family, it can also be a tough time for people who feel that they don’t have people around them to celebrate with.

A recent loss of a loved one, or perhaps dealing with estrangement and loneliness can be really difficult. Particularly when everywhere you look you’re faced with reminders of your pain; being surrounded by images of happy families; couples walking hand-in-hand to festivities; music on the radio; parties and laughter coming from neighbouring buildings; messages of ‘joy’ ‘peace’ and ‘happiness’ on cards and decorations.

In this post we’ll offer some tips to help you survive this phase.

If you’ve experienced a loss, you may want to follow some of these tips:

  • Carry out a ritual for your loved one eg light a candle, write/read a poem
  • Visit their favourite place, make their favourite meal, play their favourite music
  • Write a tribute for them – perhaps online
  • You may want to visit their grave
  • Look at photos of fun times together
  • Tell someone a funny memory of them
  • It’s important that you follow what feels right. If you don’t think you can be in other peoples’ company, be gentle on yourself – you may choose to not attend events.
  • Honour your feelings and don’t try to make yourself better for other people.
  • Honouring yourself also means to say “no”, if and whenever you need to; and looking after yourself.
  • Grief is not straight forward. Some days/weeks you’ll be fine, other days/weeks may be a struggle. The painful feelings of grief come and go in waves. Ride the waves for as long as it takes, and be gentle on yourself.
  • Don’t criticise yourself for feeling this way.
  • It’s ok to cry!
  • Being in the company of other caring loved ones may be really helpful too.
  • Seek some counselling. NALAG offer a great phone counselling service.
  • Check if you reaching for unhealthy options to manage your feelings.

If you’re dealing with estrangement or loneliness some tips to help you:

We’ll be open up to 5.30pm on Friday 22 December, and we re-open on Monday 8 January.
You can contact us for a chat, to book an appointment or ideas for referrals to other services.

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