It is here. I was secretly hoping it would be merciful and tip toe past me while I was sleeping. No such luck. Christmas is here. We are officially in the thick of the holiday season.
What hurts about the holidays is not just that were are desperately missing our loved one, though that is excruciating. It is also the hoopla of the season that throws salt into our wounds a 1000 times a day. How can you distract yourself from grief and despair while the word “JOY” is literally flashing at you in white lights and glitter from every storefront window you walk past? Tiny little things like these remind us cruelly of just how far away from joy and bliss we really are right now.
I wanted to share some ideas from a previous post I wrote about Boundary Setting After Loss to help make this time a little easier. Grief drains our strength and our energy, both emotionally and physically. It is painful and exhausting on all levels. It is therefore crucial that we practice really good self-care to take the edge off the hurt, even just slightly, and to help you to keep going for another day. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Gage your strength or energy level like the gas meter in your car. What level are you at right now? How much fuel is in your tank? Are you right on empty? Maybe a bit more? Visualize it in your mind. Make decisions about what you say yes to accordingly.
2. Do a Check in. Before you answer a ringing phone, attend an event, or provide support to anyone else, etc, first, ask yourself: is talking to this person or doing this activity likely to increase or decrease the fuel in my tank? Is this going to build me up or pull me down? Is this a person or a situation that might be hurtful, insensitive, or draining? Do I have the strength at this moment to risk that? Kris Carr, vibrant cancer survivor and wellness activist puts it like this: does this inspire me, or tire me?
3. Take a Nap. Have a bath. Journal. Do anything else that you need to do rest and recover. Grief is a marathon of survival and perseverance. We need to recharge and refuel when we can.
4. Have Tea with me on Periscope. As a bereaved mama and registered therapist, I know just how hard this time of year can be. That’s why I’m offering a little extra comfort and support via my free Periscope chats. Listen, watch or join in the Q & A and learn more tips for grief survival. Check it out here..