There is way too much pressure surrounding the holiday season. People get together with their extended family, throw big parties and tell outrageous jokes to one another.

This, however, can be heart-breaking when someone you care about is missing from those festivities. How could you possibly celebrate the holiday without spoiling everyone else’s good time or falling apart?

For those still mourning the loss of a parent, child, spouse, friend or loved one, celebrating the holidays can be exceptionally tough. Some people even wonder if they’ll ever enjoy them again. Don’t lose hope. As impossible as it may seem right now, you’ll learn to cope and sorrow eventually passes. You will get there. Just hang on to that rope.

Feel whatever it is you feel

The holidays can intensify your grief and bring sadness to the surface. It highlights the absence of the person who once occupied the empty chair on the table.

If someone dear to you died this year, allow yourself the right to grieve.  If you don’t feel like baking, don’t. If you don’t feel like preparing a festive meal, don’t. But try not to sit home alone during the holiday. Choosing to be alone on Christmas or New Year will only lead to negative thoughts.

Take a trip

If the idea of continuing traditions or handling responsibilities you’ve had in the past seems difficult for you, consider celebrating the holidays in a faraway place.

Sometimes, travelling can be a big help especially if you’re still in the early stages of mourning. Your family and friends will understand.

Banish the guilt

Some may feel like they want to boycott the entire holiday season because they feel like they’re betraying their loved one for celebrating Christmas and being happy.

Just because you lost someone important in your life, doesn’t mean that you can no longer enjoy life. Let go of the guilt and surround yourself with people who love and support you. Have an enjoyable Christmas.