With the new year already in full swing, many have taken the opportunity for a fresh start and new resolutions. However, it may be difficult for some to carry a positive outlook for the new year whilst mourning a loss. This can be even more challenging when approaching the anniversary of your loved one's death.
So what can you do? Here is some simple advice and ways to cope with grief in the new year and when approaching the anniversary of loved one's death.
1. Set a goal
It’s a new year, and therefore a time to set new goals and list things you would like to achieve this year. Was there something you and your loved one always dreamt of doing? Or something they never got to do? Perhaps a lovely way to tribute them this year would be to fulfil one of their life goals.
Tip: Make sure these are realistic goals - you do not want to put any added pressure onto yourself
2. De- clutter
I’m not just talking about cleaning out unwanted household items. When grieving (especially when feelings are raw) we can often be overcome with negative thoughts and emotions. Take the new year as an opportunity to give your mind a fresh start. However, remember there is no time limit to the grieving process, so don’t feel overwhelmed if you are finding it hard replace negative thoughts with positive ones anytime soon.
Tip: You may actually find it helpful to do some literal cleaning out of household clutter. A clean home = a clean mind.
3. Take time to be alone
When approaching the anniversary of a loved ones death, you can often find yourself being inundated with family and friends offering their time and support. Whilst you should of course surround yourself with those people, its also important that you step back and take some time to be alone. This will give you great opportunity to reflect on the great times you had with the deceased and how you are personally coping with their loss.
Tip: Relax, rest, exercise, go for a long walk, make a scrapbook or take a holiday if you can afford it
4. Accept that things may be different
After losing a loved one it is important to accept that sometimes our usual day to day routines and long standing traditions may be different. This doesn’t necessarily have to be negative and is simply something you will have to adapt to overtime. By taking the first step and allowing yourself to accept that things may be different will be helpful for the healing process.
Tip: Start new traditions and routines. Take the new year as an opportunity to introduce a new tradition whilst incorporating the memory of your lost loved one.
5. Sort out affairs
The holiday season can be chaotic and understandably you may have put off getting the deceased’s affairs in order. Take the time in the new year to sort out any unfinished business. This could be selling of property, insurance claims, division of belongings or notifying banks/companies of their death.
Read more about how to fairly divide your loved one’s belongings
Tip: Get organised - Write a list of the things you will need to do including names of those who will need to be contacted. Don’t leave things too late as you may find yourself having to pay tax on a unsold property and fees from banks who are unaware of the death.