Tis the season not to be jolly

We have heard the festive season is not always festive for many. I wanted to share a few reasons why and some tips you can do to help alleviate your own pain or support those struggling during this holiday season.


There are many reasons why some of us struggle during the holidays. Perhaps you have lost a loved one(s) and maybe they died right before or during this time of year. Whilst everyone is singing Christmas songs, blaring Christmas music, decorating their homes with Christmas lights etc. there are some who can barely find the energy to fake a smile.

The dark dreary nights that begin at 4 pm, the deep soul-crushing loss of the person or people who should be with us but are not. The ’festive’ season can shine a spotlight on the pain that exists daily, and this time of year magnifies the loss. There is an empty seat at the table.

There are other reasons why people may not feel so ‘jolly.’ If you have gone through a separation or divorce, the extended family is no longer extended. If you have children, you may be navigating who gets them and when with your ex. If you are ‘lucky’ enough to communicate in an adult-like manner and put the children’s needs first no matter how you and your ex feel about each other.

Let us talk parental alienation. This is when one parent turns their child(ren) against the other. I have worked with family law lawyers who see this on a regular basis. Thankfully, my ex-husband and I had grown children when we divorced. However, we are amicable, friendly and would never think about doing this to each other.

I have been told statistically it is women who turn their children against their exes. I know this is not always the case. We must stop this. The rate of suicide-related deaths due to this toxic behaviour is increasing.

How about other types of loss; jobs, health, community, religion, identity, and so much more.

I do not want to be the ‘negative Nelly’ here. If you have not experienced any of these things and love the Christmas holidays, enjoy! Hug your loved ones, laugh often, eat too much and be merry. Just remember to be kind, loving, and understanding, you never know who is going through the worst times of their life. This really should not be directed only during the holiday season, of course.

Let me say, even if you are struggling and do not find any real joy during this time of year, there are things you can do to find a bit of joy. You can live fully and grieve fully at the same time. It is not easy, trust me. It is possible.

Here are a few of my top tips that I have used during the festive/not-so-festive time.


This word gets thrown around so much that it loses its power. Look around you, there is always something to be grateful for. Say it, feel it, live it.


What do you see? The beauty in nature? What do you hear? The birds singing? What do you feel? Go hug a tree. What do you taste? Eat your favourite foods. Take time to look around you. Be in the moment.

Get the help and support you need!

There are charities, Facebook groups, self-help books, therapists, coaches, and hopefully healthy-loving friends/family.


Get those endorphins flowing. Go for a walk, stretch, run, hike, cycle, kickboxing, gym, swim. Whatever it is you enjoy. If you do not know, go find it.


It seems obvious but how many times do you hold your breath? Learn breathing techniques. I promise it works!

How can you support someone who is grieving and needs support over the holidays?

Be present

Reach out to them and invite them for coffee, a walk, or go to them. They may not want this but reach out and let them know you are there. Sometimes they do not know they need to get out until they get out of the house.

Big ears, little mouth

Listen more, talk less. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend share their struggles, their feelings, etc. then consider yourself lucky. They trust you! So be trustworthy.

Be ok with their pain

It is hard watching our loved ones suffer so sometimes we avoid it because we are uncomfortable. Remember, this is not about you. It’s about them. They need you. There are ways you can ground yourself and recover after you spend time with the person who needs you.


Laughter truly is the best medicine. For real! If you have a sense of humour, use it. If you tap into your intuition then you will know when the right time is to make someone belly laugh. Sometimes your loved one will just need to be distracted from their pain and laughter is one of the best ways!

Do not judge

If you do not know what they are going through, count yourself lucky. Set your judgement and what you think they should do or feel. This will only cause more pain for both of you.

I am aware that this list is not extensive and only is the tip of the iceberg. However, I hope it gives insight and encouragement that you find useful.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Market Harborough, LE16
Written by Holistic Life Coaching with Lisa Marie, International Certified & Accredited Life & Grief Coach- APC
Market Harborough, LE16

I am a mother of two adult daughters. I am a Certified and Accredited International Life Coach. I specialise in Personal Development and Grief Coaching. I am a Certified Grief Educator.
I help individuals who feel stuck in any area of their life. I help clients rebuild, transform and take action to create the life they desire and deserve.

Show comments

Find a coach dealing with Grief coaching

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals