When the old year ends and the new year rushes in, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed by all the excitement and resolutions to do better and be better all around you, especially when you’re facing the new year while grieving. You may feel left behind or distinctly out of tune with the rest of the world, because everyone is ready to leave the old year behind and face the new one head on, but you lost one of your loved ones, how can you face a new year while grieving?
Getting through the holidays is hard enough, but the new year is a reminder of time without them, and it can feel like a betrayal, like you’re leaving them behind, which makes facing the new year while grieving so much harder. Whether you just recently lost your loved one or whether it’s been years, the advent of a new year is often a time when grief hits hard because you yearn for your loved one to be there with you.
It’s normal to experience strong emotions after losing a loved one, no matter how much time has passed. Here are some of the ways that you can make facing the new year while grieving at least a little more bearable.
#1. Focus On Self-Compassion Rather Than Big Resolutions
Everyone deals with grief differently. For some, focusing on big resolutions as a way to distract from their grief may be the right way for them to face the new year while grieving. For others, making big resolutions can only make them feel worse. If that’s you, then instead of striving towards a big goal, it may be easier to focus simply on being kinder to yourself in the new year.
Allowing yourself the space to feel your emotions and taking care of your body with proper sleep and nutrition and movement can make it easier to face the new year while grieving. You may also consider seeing a counsellor who can help you process your emotions and learn how to live in a world without your loved one in it.
#2. Find A Replacement For “Happy New Year”
With everyone saying “Happy New Year” and seeing that phrase splattered everywhere from advertisements to the stores to social media, it can make you feel terrible for not being happy or for being unable to see the likelihood of a happy new year while grieving. You may consider finding a replacement to tell yourself whenever you see or hear “Happy New Year”, such as acknowledging your emotions, telling yourself you will treat yourself better, or whatever else works for you.
#3. Know That You’re Not Leaving Your Loved One In The Old Year
Especially if you just recently lost your loved one, going into the new year can feel like a betrayal and like it means that you’re leaving them behind, making facing the new year while grieving that much harder. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that this isn’t true; your loved one will always be with you, no matter how much time passes.
#4. Find Hope For The Future
When you’re drowning in grief, it can be hard to see past it or envision a world in which you’re not constantly reminded of your loss. With the new year comes the chance to find hope for the future, even if it is something like giving yourself little things to look forward to that you enjoy. It’s important to carry on living yourself, as your loved one wouldn’t want you to abandon your future.
#5. Lean On Support Systems
Grief is hard and there’s no shame in needing support. Whether you go to therapy or to a support group or lean on your friends and family, having support can ease the process of heading into the new year while grieving.
#6. Strive Not To Feel Guilty
It can be easy when you are grieving to feel guilty whenever you experience a positive emotion or do something you enjoy. While it’s important to allow yourself to feel, that doesn’t just mean the grief, but also the good things. Feeling positive emotions and having good experiences doesn’t mean that you’re leaving your loved one behind, it just means that you’re living. Just as you need to allow yourself to grieve, you also need to allow yourself the space to live and feel the spectrum of emotions beyond grief.
Russon Mortuary And Crematory knows it can be very difficult to face a new year while grieving. Whether you are grieving or whether you are trying to find ways to support a grieving loved one, we want to help you as best we can. Please feel free to contact us for any questions on resources for support during this time.