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:
- Do some self-care activities – movies, spa, listen to music, go to the beach, a park.
- Revisit our posting https://www.facebook.com/LWCHC/posts/1648923235128024:0
- Write in a journal – while it’s not changing the situation, it can be a healing process to put it down on paper (forget the grammar, punctuation and perfectly formed sentences!) let loose on your words!
- Churches often have events throughout the festive season. Check with your local church or see this website for church-related events/activities: https://hope1032.com.au/noticeboard/Introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Host a gathering with people in a similar situation see: http://orphanchristmas.com/
- Offer to volunteer for the community – or visit an aged-care home https://www.agedcareonline.com.au/residential-aged-care/new-south-wales/sydney?range=20
- Seek some counselling, and if that’s not possible, reach out to Lifeline 131314 or Beyondblue for further support.
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.