GGH Blog

Tips for Those Grieving, Disconnected and Separated from Family This Year

I’m writing in my bedroom at 9pm on a Sunday night jamming out to some throwback Jonas Brothers and I couldn’t be more at peace. Peace was something I prayed and wished for every single night for years. I would’ve never believed you if you told me that it would be coming around this time for me. However, there is always that small part of me who moves and speaks with caution out of knowing how quickly life can take a turn. For my fellow trauma survivors you probably know this feeling all too well.

Comfortable in my own skin, proud about my choices and trusting of myself to work through whatever comes my way. I’ve realized and fully embraced my growth this year that I’ve been responsible for my own happiness truly and my choices from work to side projects and relationships needed to be aligned with me. I was tired of playing it safe, watching people I love leave this earth and falling back into this cycle, not saying what I meant and not taking enough risks that could lead me to more opportunity and personal growth. I was done being stuck. 10 + years of holiday blues for this girl has me now looking at the holidays differently this year. The fear and triggers of the holidays consumed me, and it’s been work (years in the making) to detach the holidays from that. It’s not about the holidays it’s about me now. Even with the pandemic impacting plans and casting a dark cloud over us at times even exacerbating the conditions our loved ones may be going through that didn’t stop me in arriving to where I am now- feeling ready to make my own traditions and enjoy not only this time of year but each day. Maybe the pandemic has alleviated some of the social pressure I faced which indirectly forced me to be somewhere that I wasn’t. I know that that feeling is true for many of you reading this as well. Maybe you know someone who has felt that.

I think that’s the biggest piece of feeling isolated and dreading the holidays (for those impacted), is that you have to ‘be’ somewhere and something you’re not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be put out of your comfort zone and sometimes we really need that in order to reconnect to the things we love. However, I’m a firm believer that losing people you love and feeling disconnected from who you were puts you on a journey where you are navigating a new path altogether and that path comes with facing hard truths, being isolated by your pain, seeing dark parts of yourself, and recreating what emotional and relationship safety means for you. It’s a scary space at first, a path that some are even apprehensive to acknowledge and for others a path that takes them to discovering happiness and fearlessly becoming committed to their relationship with themselves. It takes being able to arrive at a place where you see your worth, you feel tired of being stuck and you feel ready to let go of guilt or others’ perceptions. It’s hard to look inward especially for most who haven’t been encouraged growing up to do so or have felt validation for the trauma and losses they’ve gone through and its honestly survival to not do that in some situations. It’s never too late to start.

Tips for those on their journey through navigating the holidays as well as life changing anniversaries coming up:

  1. Try to separate the days from the season as a whole

 

  1. Cling to those people who see the magic and potential in you
  • The ones who feel excited for what’s to come for you while also respecting that you’re on your own journey
  • Encourage you to build and feel your feelings
  • Sometimes we need to be reminded of all of that when it’s hard to see it for ourselves

 

  1. Holiday blues and triggers can be very isolating – make sure you have at least one safe person to connect to about your feelings

 

  1. Don’t feel guilty for getting back into the things you love
  • Guilt is a whole other beast that can consume us and be difficult to work through
  • Please take this as a sign that you should do something that you love and need this week
  • Our environment, upbringing, culture and relationships sometimes can reinforce this feeling that we need to feel guilty when we take time out for ourselves, or we do something that gives the appearance to other that we’re no longer mourning
  • You can be grieving and have a day where you feel joy and hope: grief is not black and white in terms of how we should be feeling and going about our lives

 

  1. Prioritize self-care and your wellness
  • Sleep is one of the biggest areas impacted
  • Research different tools and products that may be helpful for you to settle down for the night #teamtrialanderror
  • Your body deserves and needs rest to keep going

While I’ve shared where I’m at at the start of this blog post, I acknowledge that I’m always going to have work to do, and this is a small piece in my journey looking back. Know that the future is full of opportunities for you and that you too, are deserving of peace and redefining these times in whatever way YOU choose.

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