The airlines tell you to place an oxygen mask on yourself first before you assist others. Others may mention that you cannot serve from an empty vessel. They are onto something. Helping others can be taxing. Giving emotional and physical support to those in grief can require many of our resources. This is why it is crucial that you make it a habit to take care of yourself. This might look like engaging in your own stress relief on a daily basis or venting before going to see your friend in grief. It might mean that you make sure that if you also knew the deceased, that you process your grief with someone on whom you can lean. Wanting the person in fresh grief to support you can backfire. Taking care of yourself might also mean taking a break from being a grief supporter. You might need to focus on you and life and making sure you have “enough to give.” In doing so, you can actually be a better grief supporter.
Please remember this is one suggestion for how to help support those in grief for the holidays. Please feel free to review more of our tips here. And, please always remember, you don’t have to journey alone…even as a supporter!