Holidays, special events, and birthdays are always bittersweet times when you lose a parent. Christmas is not the same because you can't have everything you wished for, and birthdays are just another reminder that you’re a year older and a special someone is not there to celebrate with you. Of course, you still have other loved ones around you during these events, but there still remains a hole in your heart that just can't be filled.
Nothing is worse than knowing that the people around you may be feeling the same way. So, how do you stay positive and keep your loved ones happy during these times? Well, over time, I've thankfully figured out a few tips, strategies, and tricks to staying positive (and ensuring that my loved ones are staying positive as well).
How to survive the holidays, birthdays and special events:
1. Surround yourself with positive people on these days.
2. Avoid the people who constantly bring up the past. Example: “I remember the first time your father gave you a Christmas present.” These people do not mean harm, but on these days there is no need to focus so heavily on the past.
3. Eat cake.
4. Drink champagne.
5. When you’re feeling sad, play music. Jingle bell rock is a good one.
6. Mix up your old traditions. It never hurts to try something new!
7. EXERCISE! People tend to get lazy during special occasions. Working out will release endorphins, making you feel happier and putting you in a better mood.
8. Splurge on yourself. If you’re graduating high school, go treat yourself. Always love yourself first.
9. Splurge on someone else.
10. Lastly, know that you are in control of your grief. These special events are not meant for crying. It is okay to have some emotions but know that your loved one would not want you to cry on your birthday.