Ready or not… here it comes. The holiday season has arrived and what is known as “the most wonderful time of the year” for many is often times met with sadness and depression for others.
1. Take time for yourself
- The process of grieving is extremely taxing on the body, mind and spirit. Replenish your body. Be sure to nourish yourself with healthy, wholesome foods. Exercise as often as you’re able too. If strenuous exercises are not something you’re up to, try going for a calm walk, and focus on restorative practices like meditation, prayer, deep breathing exercises, yoga, Tai chi or Qi Gong. And of course, if you feel the need to, you can always seek help from a therapist or grief counselor.
2. Feel your feelings without guilt
- For some, being close to family and basking in the holiday traditions that their deceased loved one appreciated is comforting. However, for others that may not be the case. Being around family and holiday traditions can trigger unwanted and painful memories. As a result, some would rather be alone. Honor your individual feelings. It’s ok if you’re not ready for what others might be ready for. Proceed at your own pace, and be sure to allow yourself to process your feelings. Avoid keeping anything bottled up and locked inside.
3. Talk about your loved one
- Often times it feels awkward to talk too much about the person who is gone. You think that the mere mention of the name might trigger an unpleasant emotion in other family members. So you opt to stay silent. Well, chances are your other family members are feeling the same way you are. So go ahead, honor your loved one by sharing your memories and stories. It’s a part of the healing process, so don’t hold back.
4. Be patient with the process
- Life after loss requires lots of adjustments, especially during the holidays, which tend to be filled with rituals of celebration. That adjustment will take some time. Everyone is different and their grieving process is going to be somewhat different. Don’t beat yourself up if you see others seemingly doing well and moving on faster than you are. The important thing to keep in mind is that you’re practicing habits that are helping you to move in a positive direction. With committed actions, you’ll feel better.
5. Be clear about what you want to do for the holidays
- Family members can have expectations that you may not be ready to fulfill. If you’re not in the frame of mind to dive back into the holiday rituals of food, trees, lights, people and presents, leave it for another time. Don’t feel forced or get overwhelmed with pleasing people. Perhaps you can create a new ritual. Maybe travel or go somewhere new or feed the homeless. Whatever you decide to do, make it crystal clear to others.
Dixie states, “Self-care is the vehicle that can take you to your unique happiness. It can take you from undone to on top of this wonderful world. It can take you from fed up to freedom, from unhealthy to healthy, from broke to bringing in the big bucks, from fearful to fearless, from confusion to clarity, from passionless to purposeful, from unhappy to blissful, from staycationer to global vacationer, from giving up to giving back. Yes! The possibilities are endless. It is, in essence, the lack of self-care that prohibits us from living the lives we truly want.”
To learn more about Dixie’s 6-principles of self-care, visit her website here.
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