Last week I did a teleclass on ‘Handling the Holidays Your Way’ which was about providing tips for honoring oneself and managing grief during the holidays. Since this information can be helpful to many people, I wanted to share just a few of the tips from the call with you.
Holiday Tip #1: You have the Ability to Make a Choice in Each Moment
You get to decide what you say yes to and what you say no to without guilt or explanation this holiday season. This is about knowing and honoring yourself and your choices vs. what you think you ‘should’ do or what others want you to do. There are no expectations for shopping, presents, decorating, sending cards, having a tree, traveling, or getting together with others if you are not feeling up to it. You are going through your own process so give yourself permission to do what makes you feel good and be kind to yourself. How will you honor your choices?
Holiday Tip #2: Revise or Create New Traditions
Your emotions may be too raw to do certain things you’ve always done at the holidays and by revising or creating a new tradition can shift that heavy energy into a lighter space. Examples of doing something new include: move holiday activities to someone else’s house; send New Year’s cards instead of Christmas or Hanukkah ones, change the menu or time of your meal, etc. This doesn’t mean that in the future you may go back to some previous activity. It is also important to acknowledge the void left by your loved one not there physically as everyone will be feeling it too. Honor his/her importance in your life. Make a donation to a charity in his/her name, have a place setting at the table, light a candle, hang a stocking, tell stories and share memories of what they meant to you, create a memory book, say a prayer. There are many ways to create new traditions. How can you revise or create a new tradition this year?
Holiday Tip #3: Choose to Feel Gratitude for What You Do Have
We can all get caught up in our own story, see things thru our own filter, focus on our own pain and therefore not be aware of the goodness around us. The holiday season provides us with lots of opportunities to practice being grateful for what we have even if our heart is feeling broken. Gratitude doesn’t need to be focused big things. Something simple like the sun shining on your face, a hot shower in the morning, a roof over your head, your ability to hear even if Aunt Sally goes on and on with the same stories at the holiday dinner table! Even in the midst of our pain, we can find things to be grateful for.
Ask yourself right now, what am I thankful for? What are the blessings in my life?