BY: GARY ROE
The overall key to staying sane & getting through this season intact is to have a healthy holiday grief mindset. We need to make some “decisions” in our own minds. Here are eight keys – eight internal decisions we can make – that will help us develop a healthy mindset for this season:
1. I will be kind to myself.
The world is hard on us. Some of us, perhaps most of us, tend to be hard on ourselves. We need to reverse this a bit.
What would it look like to be more kind to yourself as you head into this season?
2. I will remember that it’s okay to hurt, especially over the holidays.
If we believe somewhere deep down inside that it’s not okay to hurt & to grieve, we’re going to have an even tougher time managing the pain & grief within. Accepting ourselves as we are is huge.
3. I will accept that this holiday will be very different.
This holiday season will be like no other. You’ve never been here before. This is uncharted territory. You don’t know what this is going to be like exactly, & that’s okay.
4. I will manage my own & others’ expectations.
You have expectations of yourself & others. Others have expectations of you. Most likely, a great number of these expectations are unrealistic or even impossible while you’re grieving. We’ll cover more on managing expectations later. For now, begin to make the internal decision to become aware of your expectations as you head into this holiday time.
5. I will get the time alone I need, but I will not isolate myself.
We all need time alone. We need time to feel, to think, to process. Isolation, on the other hand, is one of the fiercest enemies of the grieving heart. We need people. We’re designed for relationship. We need relational balance.
6. I will spend time with safe people.
We need safe people in our lives – people who will enter our world and walk alongside us for a bit. All of us need to interact with people that listen well & love us where we’re at.
7. I will limit my time with people who are not helpful to me.
Not everyone will be supportive. In fact, we’ll be shocked by the disappearance of people we had naturally counted on. We’ll also have people who want to interact with us but who are not at all helpful. We need to guard our hearts & limit our exposure to these folks.
8. I will find ways to honor my loved one.
Holidays are a good time to intentionally remember & honor our loved ones. In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about how to make a simple plan to express your love & honor your loved one well. This will bring a sense of purpose and meaning to the holiday season that is desperately needed.
Our hearts are under assault.
Information. Expectations. Pressures. Demands. Responsibilities.
Worries. Fears. Uncertainties. Upheaval. Past trauma.
Grieving hearts are vulnerable. Guarding our hearts becomes a priority.
Actually, guarding our hearts is always a priority.
The above eight “daily decisions” can help us guard our already broken hearts.
This is how we can be kind to ourselves.
And please remember that you are not alone, you are not crazy, & you will make it through this.