The holidays are here again. It never fails that they are the most consistent thing to show up over and over, year after year. Don't they know that my heart is hurting? Are they aware they remind me that someone or something I value is missing from my world?
Here are a few tips to help walk with you through the Holiday season:
1. It's okay to talk about it. Yep that's number one. Pretending like your losses don't exist is harmful not helpful. Find a safe person to talk to about your feelings. Stuffing them inside will only pressure cook them for later. It's a good thing to be truthful about you.
2. Celebrate your loved one. Who says you can't hang a stocking for them anymore? Share stories. Memories are a valuable thing, don't let them go to waste.
3. Write a letter. If there are things you need to say to the loved one you lost, write them a letter and tell them. Keeping it stored in your head leaves less room for everything else you need to accomplish during the holidays. Get your thoughts out on paper.
4. Say YES to help. If people are offering, then let them. You do not have to take everything on by yourself. We are meant to be in community with each other. Bless someone by allowing them to bless you.
5. Limit the alcohol. If you are already feeling down, then alcohol is only going to exacerbate those feelings. If you are looking for a way to release those emotions try a brisk walk outside.
6. Light a candle. Honor your person with a simple yet beautiful gesture.
7. Practice self care. When things get a bit stressful, take the time to fill your cup (whatever that looks like) maybe carving out some time to read, go get a massage, take a hot bath. Recharge yourself.
8. Make a "to do" list. We know that with grief comes some brain fog. No need to stress or forget about all you need to do, simply write it down. Make a list and check it twice, then systematically take one event at a time. Check!
9. Don't over commit. This time a year, with all the parties, shopping and cooking, better to under commit and over deliver. This allows you the grace if an event comes up and you are not able to participate.
10. Remember it's okay to be happy. Being happy does not diminish memories or how much you loved your person. Find joy this holiday season.
These are just a few of the many tips that may help you through the holidays. The best thing you can do is honor your well being during this time and be okay if things are not perfect. Learning your new normal and what that looks like for you is a marathon not a sprint. It may change from year to year and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Find your Joy