Here are more proven strategies:
1) Contact the host or hostess before the get-together and let them know that you aren’t feeling like your usual self and may need to leave early.
2) Give yourself the first 30 minutes after you arrive to adjust to a gathering where your spouse is no longer with you.
3) Take your own car or alert a friend who is driving that you may want to leave early.
4) If you start to feel overwhelmed, you can retreat to the bathroom or take a short walk for some private time.
5) If you choose to avoid the usual gatherings, consider volunteering to serve meals at shelters, visiting shut-ins, or spending the day at a movie or health spa.
Remember: You will get through this time. We’ve found that the anticipation is usually much worse than the actual events. Be sure to plan ahead and do only what is most comfortable for you.