It’s that time of year again. It’s the fall, it’s November, and of course, it’s also almost Thanksgiving.
So, what does all that mean? For many of you, it means that you do a lot of preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday. You spend hours cleaning, shopping, chopping, baking and cooking a meal for your family and friends. It’s a time to sit back and reflect on all the goodness you have received; a time to spend quality hours with those you love and acknowledge your blessings. Even if you haven’t felt grateful recently, the holiday invites you to be cognizant of all those good things bestowed upon you.
Sadly, for many others, it isn’t a festive time. Thanksgiving may not be a welcomed holiday if you have lost a loved one and are in the grieving process.
I know because I lived in that realm when I lost my husband to suicide in 2005. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner was the last thing on my mind. In fact, I wanted to make an exit and join him. Thankfully I am still here and have a message of hope for you. It’s important to know that your pain won’t last forever even though it feels as if it may. There are many things you can do to begin your journey through grief, and a few specific ways I want to highlight.
5 Ways to Heal Grief this Thanksgiving:
- Reach out and get the help you need to process your grief otherwise you may remain in a stuck state. There are many resources available to assist you, and I also offer one-on-one coaching services
- Be gentle with yourself. Take time to be kind to “you.” It’s not a selfish act. Let others dote on you! I know it’s hard for many of you, but let them because they want to, and they often feel helpless. It’s a way that they can show their love to you.
- Pay attention to your feelings. Take notice of how you feel when you are around certain people. Do they make you feel good or bad? Don’t put yourself in situations where you will feel bad.
- Listen to your body. If it’s tired, then rest; if hungry then eat; if it wants to move then exercise. Grievers often become numb and put caring for themselves on the backburner.
- Do something that you enjoy doing. Don’t let guilt stop you. It’s an unproductive emotion and will keep you in a stuck state if you let it, so don’t. I know because it controlled me for much too long! But I am the winner and survivor and you can be too!
Those are a few things to help get you through the holidays, especially with Thanksgiving approaching. Start doing them now.
I also have a challenge for you. Write down on a piece of paper those things that you are grateful for. I know it feels hard, but if you listen to your heart you know you can find at least one. Put the paper in a place you can view it daily and read it aloud. You may discover that your heart is warming, and you can add more to your list.
I wish you comfort, love, and peace this holiday season.
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Robin left her job after 20 years as a computer software systems analyst following the suicide of her husband in 2005. Her journey through grief led to her transformation. She is a published author. A grief, life, and spiritual coach, and also shares inspiration with others through her teachings.