This month we are focusing on balance in our lives, especially in the midst of loss. We are looking at four areas of our lives: mind; body; spirit; and social. We’ve asked hundreds of grievers for a personal piece of advice they’d like to share with others. This week is about our mind—what we think and what we focus on does matter! Here is their collected wisdom about being social in the midst of grief.
Count your blessings. Ideas: Write down three new things you are grateful for each day in a gratitude journal. Before you get out of bed, bring to mind five people you love and are grateful for—inhale their love and exhale your gratitude for their presence in your life.
Be gentle with yourself. Ideas: Ban the negative self-talk. You are doing the best you can. Be your own best friend. What would your best friend say to you?
Live One Day at a Time. Ideas: Don’t live in the past. Don’t live in the future. Give thanks for TODAY and live fully in this day you have been given. Too much time travel in your brain is not helpful.
Be patient with yourself. Grief has no timeline. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Take as much or as little time as you need. Don’t let others’ expectations that you should be “over” this discourage you. You will never be “over” the one you loved.
Stress literally eats holes in your brain. And losing a spouse is one of those off-the-charts stressors. You may have short term issues with memory and concentration. This is normal.
Take a holiday from your grief. Visualize putting your grief in a beautiful trunk. Choose your favorite fleece blanket or elegant silk. Wrap your grief carefully and place it in the trunk. Then close the lid, knowing your grief Is safe for now. Give yourself permission to think about something else, even if for just 20 minutes. When you choose, take your grief out again and attend to it.
I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.” Psalm 16:7