Updated: Apr 5, 2020
If I had one word of advice for those who are grieving for the holidays, it would be this—KEEP IT SIMPLE. Whether you realize it or not, grief takes an incredible amount of energy. Almost all of our energies are being funneled into the emotional turmoil we are experiencing on the inside. The emotional drain makes it difficult and, at times, impossible to carry out even the basic necessities of a given day. Grief requires us to reevaluate our priorities and our daily to-do lists. It also requires us to extend grace to ourselves when we are not able to get it all done as we are accustomed to doing. That’s grief on a “normal” day. So how in the world do we think we are going to be able to maintain our holiday schedules and traditions as we always have?! I hate to break it to you, but you are not. You will drive yourself insane trying to do everything like you have in years past. It’s time to sit down and be honest with yourself about this year’s holiday season. Taking care of yourself and what you need during the holidays is at the top of the priority list. A very close second is meeting the needs (notice I didn’t say “wants”) of your immediate family, especially keeping in mind any children involved in your planning. There will be some things you will just have to do for yourself and for those closest to you. If there is going to be sacrifice or going the extra mile during the holidays, let it be for the children who are part of your life. But even then, remember we are keeping it simple. You will find there are many things that need to be simplified or even eliminated, at least for this year. You will be amazed at how many things can be done differently or in a more simple way or even not done at all and the world will keep right on spinning through the holidays. Those who love you will understand this is a difficult season for you and extend grace to you, even work with you in the process. Unfortunately, there will be some who simply do not get it. It’s ok. This holiday season is about you getting through to the other side in one piece and maybe discovering it wasn’t as bad as you thought. And maybe, just maybe you will find little glimmers of hope and joy along the way. The key to it all is to keep it simple.