Cure to Christmas blues
Jessica Seburn, LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST
If I hear Frank Sinatra’s, I’ll be home for Christmas blast through Polo Park Mall one more time, I’m going to choke myself with tinsel. It’s not that I don’t like the song, it’s a holiday staple. It’s beautiful and timeless. But it makes me miss my dead friend.
The holidays aren’t a season of pure joy for everyone. It can be a devastating time.
This will be my second holiday season post-loss. Here are five things I suggest to help you through the holidays.
1. Remember that you are not alone: It may sound cliché, but it’s an important thing to remember. The holidays can be a reminder that our loved ones are not always here to share it with us. It can feel like a shock to go from a full classroom to an empty home. Have a list of people you know you can always call and talk to. Surround yourself with love and support.
2. Create new traditions while honoring the old: My friend and I would always do a gift exchange near Christmas. It feels odd not having that anymore. I chose to buy a special ornament that reminded me of her. Now, I set aside a special time to unwrap the decoration and place it on my tree. It’s a small thing, but in doing so, I feel like I continue to honour our friendship and her life.
3. Don’t take on too much: Some people isolate themselves during grief, and others explode into social activity. You need a balance between the two. Try to recognize your limitations. Don’t try to escape those feelings. You should take this time away from school to recharge.
4. Give back to your community: Grief can hold us hostage. One way I have freed myself is by giving back. Right now is the most charitable season, finding ways to help should be easy. Assemble a Christmas Hamper, donate to Toy Mountain, or find a charity that reflects your values. Knowing that you have made someone else’s existence easier can help bring meaning and hope back into your life.
5. Take what you need: Yes, take. Grieving can be a personal, lonely struggle. You are allowed to ask for help. In fact, you should ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for what you need. Self-care is critical for healing and coping. You are worthy of it. There are many excellent, local resources.
For a full list, visit Palliative Manitoba’s website: palliativemanitoba.ca/
Jessica Seburn, laughs lots, dances little.
Occasional comedian to the drunken stars of Winnipeg bars.
Animal pesterer, carbs enthusiast.
She’s on Twitter @Snakeandflower