The holidays can be an especially difficult time to navigate when you are grieving. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for creating peace and bringing comfort for this time.
BREATHE - wherever you are, whatever you are feeling or doing, take a moment to simply breathe. Be present to your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Encourage your breath to come slowly and deeply.
- With each in-breath silently say the word Love and with each exhale silently say Peace.
- When you feel especially stressed or overwhelmed by sorrow, practice the 4,7,8 breathing method. (breathe in to the count of 4, hold to the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 8). You can watch a tutorial of this method with Dr. Andrew Weil online.
10 Tips To Ease Grief During The Holidays
- Keep it simple. If you regularly deck all the halls and host parties for the multitudes, this is a time to simplify. It is okay to cut back and give yourself permission to do only what feels the most meaningful.
- Practice self care every day. Take walks, exercise, eat well, indulge (mindfully), watch your favorite movies, take warm baths with epsom salts, splurge on new pajamas and comfy slippers. Giving to yourself is never selfish—it is vital to your ability to heal and be well.
- Communicate with your family and friends. Send a group email or letter letting everyone in your trusted circle know how they can help you. Maybe it is with decorating or cooking. Maybe you would like extra time in solitude or need their companionship each day. Maybe you need everyone to know and understand that this year you need to be able to change your mind about everything at the last minute. People in your life love you and want to support you. Communicating your needs and desires makes it easier for others to be there in a way that is actually helpful to you.
- Rest. Grief is exhausting work. Grief requires an enormous amount of emotional and physical energy. Honor your grief by resting as much as you need to, whenever you need to.
- Allow yourself your feelings, whether it is anger, sadness, intense grief, or laughter and mirth. Whatever you are feeling, it is okay—even if it doesn’t feel good. Allow the big grief waves to come and go. Remind yourself that all feelings are temporary. Allowing yourself to be present to your feelings helps your grief to move and transform.
- Include those you are grieving in your celebrations. Set a place at the table for them with a candle and their picture. Donate to a cause they loved. Treat yourself to something they would have given you. Buy something for them that you would have bought them and donate it to a charity or give it to a friend. Set up an altar with their picture and sacred objects.
- Talk about your loved one. Your relationship with your loved one goes on. Talking about your memories of them is important. Find people who encourage you to share your memories and spend time with those folks.
- Surround yourself with the people who bring you peace: those that understand you, listen to you, and support you. You know who these people are because you feel uplifted and better after being in their presence. If you leave the company of others and feel extra exhausted and irritable, it may be a sign those are not the best people to spend your time with right now.
- Be in nature. Notice the trees, the water, the landscape around you and breathe in the fresh air. Being in nature can be a balm to the grieving heart. Allow the expansiveness of the sky to hold you and your hurts.
- Reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Find a grief counselor or join a support group that can help you as you are coping with the intensity of your feelings through this potent time.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. Please know I am here if you want to talk or would like my support as you move through this season.