Coming together with friends or family during the holiday period can, for some, be a reminder of all that’s missing. Be that the recent death of a grandparent, dealing with heartbreak, or living on the other side of the world to those you love most.
Layering grief on top of already heightened emotions, and the fatigue of another calendar year coming to a close, can be a catalyst for experiencing anxiety and depression.
We asked psychologist and wellness extraordinaire, Taash Balakas, to share her top tips for getting through this period while being so kind and so gentle with yourself.
Create a Memory Jar:
“Invite friends and family to write down their favourite memories of your loved one on colourful slips of paper. Read them together during the holidays as a way to celebrate their life.”
Host a "Remember When" Gathering:
“Organise a get-together where everyone shares funny or heartwarming stories about your loved one. It can turn tears into laughter and help everyone feel connected.”
Make a Tribute Playlist:
“Compile a playlist of songs that remind you of your loved one or songs they enjoy(ed). Play it during the holidays and let the music bring back cherished memories.”
Cook Their Favourite Dishes:
“Prepare a meal featuring their favourite foods. Cooking together with family can be a wonderful way to honour their memory and bond over shared recipes.”
Volunteer or Give Back:
“Dedicate some time during the holidays to volunteer at a charity or participate in a giving program in honour of your loved one. Helping others can bring a sense of fulfilment and positivity.”
Create a Gratitude Wall:
“Set up a space where friends and family can write what they're thankful for at this point in their life. It's a way to acknowledge the good things, even during tough times.”
Plan a Celebration of Life:
“Instead of focusing solely on the loss or pain or separation, plan an event that celebrates the life and joy of your loved ones. It could be a game night, a picnic, or any activity they love(d).”