Today, we would like to offer three powerful tips that are helpful to grievers during the holiday season. We encourage our grievers to embrace these tips and if you know of someone that is hurting or struggling with grief, please consider sharing this.
TIP 1: Choose Your Focus
In most families, holidays are filled with traditions and expectations. When we are grieving, expectations (filled and unfulfilled) can lead to a great deal of stress. Recognizing and accepting that your holiday experience isn’t going to be the same, shows compassion for yourself and others. When you choose your focus rather than letting it or others choose for you, you give yourself a much better chance of moving through these special but difficult days more peacefully.
TIP 2: Respect Your Boundaries
As you choose your focus, consider your boundaries. What can you do that feels safe and comfortable? And, what causes you to feel unsafe or uncomfortable? For some people, it is hard to eat, hard to socialize, hard to find the energy to participate in holiday activities. For others, they lean into food, drink and other substances to handle loss. Establishing healthy boundaries for yourself and with others is an act of self-care that can keep you from intensifying the pain you feel and help you pace yourself as you heal and find your “new normal”.
TIP 3: Accept Help
Just as you choose your focus and identify (and respect) your boundaries, allowing others to help you is truly an act of kind, thoughtful self-care. You don’t have to do everything you’ve done in the past. You can ask for help. You can let others be a blessing to you. Accepting help, especially during the holidays, is as meaningful as giving help. In fact, it is a gift to those that care about you and just really want to support you.
Know that as you move through this holiday season, your challenges are recognized and respected. We wish you peace and compassionate self-care.