We are in the month of November and Thanksgiving is around the corner. It’s not a typical one this year while living in the pandemic. You are probably overwhelmed with planning or lack of planning the big day. Therefore, I am not going to preach about how it’s easy to overeat, binge on sweets, and drink too much eggnog! Most of the population has a hard time restraining on Thanksgiving and you may be included. I think you already know if you are one of those who do. If not, then kudos to you!
I’m not going to talk about food instead what I want to know is; how are you dealing with the holidays if you are experiencing Thanksgiving grief?
Holidays often add extra pounds and extra stress regardless if you’re grieving or not. If you recently lost a loved one, I imagine that buying a turkey and baking a pumpkin pie is the last thing on your mind. It certainly was for me in 2005 and now once again since I lost another husband and soulmate in 2019. It’s important to not be hard on yourself. It’s normal to feel this way. I know you may be putting those demands on yourself if you were the one who always had Thanksgiving at your house. It was the same for me!
I can offer you some suggestions and some food for thought!
You can do what I did in 2005. I told my family, “No I can’t do it.” Yes, it takes a lot of courage, but you know what? Everyone understood and if they didn’t, I couldn’t worry about it. I was too stricken with grief to do so. The ironic thing is that I have not had a Thanksgiving dinner at my home ever since, and it has opened the door to many wonderful experiences with others that I never imagined. So, I don’t miss it. I created a new tradition for myself and it’s very satisfying.
Does that seem too difficult for you? Then ask someone if they would like to volunteer to have it at their home. If no one steps up to the plate you can decide on a restaurant that is agreeable to all and make reservations. This can change day to day depending on where you live during the pandemic.
If you want to do something out of the ordinary you can volunteer to work at a homeless shelter or any organization that prepares meals for those in need. Doing acts of kindness and service can help lift you out of your own pain. Again, this must be done in a safe way during the pandemic.
What do you really want to do?
If none of those appeal to you and you really feel you want to be alone then let your family and friends know this. But don’t do it to isolate yourself. There are still ways to stay in contact during the pandemic via zoom and voice calls. Do it only if you want to experience the holiday alone for the first time. This in itself can be therapeutic and cleansing. You may come to the realization that YES, you really do want to connect in some way with others.
It’s important to realize that you ARE, more than just what you EAT. You ARE creating a NEW you.
It’s your new identity without your loved one and it’s important to establish guidelines and boundaries. It’s important to make it through the holidays and do what’s best for you. Honor yourself and one day the holidays will be good again for you.
- Decide what you really want
- Create a new tradition
- Don’t isolate yourself for long term
- Work on establishing your new identity without your loved one
- Establish boundaries for yourself and others
It’s a big step and you may not know where to begin. If you would like to take those steps, I can offer you help. I invite you to fill out a needs assessment form and schedule a free 20-minute consultationwith me. Also, please check out my most recent book.
Love and Light,
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