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Managing grief in the darker months

Published on: January 11, 2022

It’s that time of year – Christmas is over and the cold, dark months of January and then February are upon us. For many, especially the bereaved, it can be particularly difficult.

Following her tips on how to cope over the Christmas period, our Barnsley MHST Bereavement Counsellor, Helen Scouller now  shares thoughts on tackling the darker winter months.

These thoughts are for children who are bereaved, but also adults within the family who are supporting them.

Helen says…

You may not be looking forward to what this new year brings.  But you may be surrounded by people who are excited about what might happen in 2022 and this could be difficult.

Remind yourself it’s okay and normal to feel the way you do after losing someone you love.

Little things can help, though. You could give yourself a time to look at photos of the person who has died or hug their jumper or their toy – lots of children say that can be really nice.

Enjoy things

When there’s something you enjoy, just take a moment to think about that. And don’t feel guilty about it. It could be the bright winter sunshine or a friend coming around or a walk outside or something that you read or something on the TV or online that you liked.

Doing the things you like to do can stop you thinking sad thoughts for a little while. That will help you to feel differently and stronger over time.

Be with people

Being with people may not be what you want to do right now. But making that effort to meet someone or do something nice with others can be really good for you. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – just something that brings you together and a bit closer to other people.

Don’t expect too much

Take one day at a time and don’t think you always have to be feeling a bit better than you did the day before. It doesn’t usually work like that. Just try to make little steps forward.

Grief can be different day to day

You might have times when being sad and missing the person who has died feels like the only thing in your life. And there may be other days when maybe you’re not quite so sad and you can think about doing other things.

Grieving does change like that day to day. A day when you’re really upset will pass and the next day may be better. Keep that in mind on the bad days. 

Life grows again

Little by little your life will grow again and this time, it will include your grief and the loss of the person you love.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I hope my thoughts could be useful for you.

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