November is here, marking the start to a wonderful holiday season! A time that's filled with laughter and jovial spirits. Unfortunately, the sweater weather for many women is sometimes not so warm and cheerful. For those who are experiencing the weight of grief, it can be an emotionally challenging and isolating time. These unexpected feelings during the holiday season is known as "holiday blues." Whether you are mourning the loss of a loved one, coping with a substantial life change, or facing other forms of grief, it's important to know that you're not alone in your journey. Holiday blues impacts all of us and we each experience it differently. In this blog, we give you 4 reminders on how you should handle those holiday blues and the grief that can sometimes come with it so that you can get back to enjoying the beautiful people and shades of fall around you.
❤️Reminder #1: Recognize and Allow Yourself to Grieve
Permit yourself to feel the emotions that arises. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your feelings are valid and meant to be felt. It is okay to take time to grieve. Give yourself time to experience your emotions without judgment. Fight the urge to suppress your feelings because suppressing them can make it even more overwhelming.
❤️Reminder #2: Set Realistic Expectations
The holiday season always comes with high expectations. It's important to recognize that your circumstances may have changed and set realistic expectations for yourself... that can include meeting different standards than they were in previous years.
❤️Reminder # 3: Prioritize Self Care
Grief can be physically and emotionally draining. Make self-care a priority during this time. Engage in activities that bring you comfort and relaxation. Here' s few to get you started:
1. Get grounded. When feelings start to become overwhelming to you, these skills will help you be steady enough to meet and observe them. To be grounded means to feel rooted, calm, and present—until you are not. Then get grounded again. Ways to get grounded include:
• Breathing🌬️ Take deep, slow breaths into your belly, and fill your lungs as if you are smelling a nice scent. Gradually make your exhalation longer than your inhalation breathing through your mouth as if you are breathing through a straw. Pretend you can breathe in and out through the soles of your feet. Breathe through whatever you feel without pushing it away. • Using your senses👃🏾 Focus as deeply as possible on touch, scent, sound, and body sensations to help you get present and relaxed. • Moving your body mindfully🧠 Walk or stretch slowly, trying to feel every muscle as it moves. Feel each foot touch the ground. • Meditating☮️ If you have a meditation practice, do it consistently. If you do not practice, there are books, courses, retreats, meditation groups, and online resources that can help you.
2. Journal Your Emotions📖 Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a powerful way to process grief. Start a grief journal to capture your emotions, memories, and reflections during the holiday season or any other time.
3. Make a comfort kit🖼️ Place things that comfort you in a special box and put it where you can easily find it. You might put in candles, favorite bath oils, art supplies, etc. whatever brings you comfort.
4. Moving🏃🏾♀️ Your body is your ally. Walking, dancing, practicing yoga, engaging in sports—it is all good. Movement expressing your feelings is especially helpful.
5. Honoring your loved one❤️ Sometimes grief is expressed in graveside visits, ceremonies with friends, donations to charities, planting trees—anything that helps you express your relationship with and feelings about that person.
❤️Reminder # 4: Seek Support
Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist who can provide a safe space for you to express your grief. You don't have to go through those holiday blues and feelings of grief alone. If you find that your grief is overwhelming in any way, consider seeking professional support to help you cope.
Additionally, national and local resources offer guidance and support for managing grief. One resource is https://grief.com/free/ which provides valuable tools and resources for navigating the grieving process. Remember, it's okay to ask for help. Grief is complex, and it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing it. As a woman navigating this path, allow yourself to have room for grace and patience. The process may be difficult, but with time and self-compassion, healing can happen.
Take that Step Into Inner Peace this Holiday Season
We know it's never easy to confront our unpredictable emotions. But that is how we grow. That is how we become better people and live the lives that we deserve and filled with peace. Take the time to feel these feelings and don't try to control them. Let them flow like an endless stream. Be real with yourself and understand that you're not the same person as you were before. You're different and with change comes new standards. Make self-care your priority by getting in tune with your body and staying grounded within yourself. And lastly, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Sometimes our emotions can be too much to handle. So talk to those that provide a space for you to be your authentic self. With these 4 reminders in mind, you'll be able to truly enjoy the amazing things the holiday season brings.
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