Yes, it is that time of year again when we are all supposed to pretend that we are happy. The season of good cheer, Christmas.

For people who are grieving, Christmas can be exhausting. It is so hard pretending to be of good cheer. Often our friends and family are invested in making sure that the grievers are happy, or if not happy, at least okay.

The truth is though, that for many, you are not okay. As Megan Divine says – “It’s okay that you’re not okay.”

So, it is important that you make a plan or two for December. Find ways that you can care for yourself, honor yourself, and honor your person.

Everyone is different. Some people change traditions, some people keep traditions, some people add traditions, and some people forgo Christmas all together. There is no wrong way to do this.

It is only November, and I can feel people ramping up already. It is a hard holiday to ignore. Just going to any store can bring up many emotions for someone who is grieving. It is as if Christmas and the Christmas Spirit permeate everything. You can’t really get away from it.

So, the question has to be, how do I move through these holidays with self-love and self-compassion. What do I need to do to take care of myself? If you have family, what do I need to do to take care of us? There is nothing more important now. Don’t let well-meaning people put their ideas of what is right on you.

Stand strong for self-compassion this year. Be your own best friend. You will know what you need.

Be Gentle

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs