Let's empower ourselves with some healthy coping skills this winter season. When you really don't feel like celebrating these tips can help. Here is how to survive the holidays and love someone in their absence. When it comes to grief and love... You can't have one without the other.
What is it about nature and grief?
#1. Get outside and take a deep breath of fresh air. Take a hike in the woods or a stroll around the neighborhood. Notice the blueness of the sky, the cloud formations or the ever changing colors of the evergreens. It's a wonderland of mood enhancers.
Mother Nature is a sure cure for the winter doldrums. Just take a look at this sunrise from my front porch. Had I not stepped outside for that cleansing breath I could not have enjoyed such a stunning moment. There are no filters here.
#2. While we are outside...hang up and maintain a bird feeder. You will be rewarded with a beautiful display and variety of birds thanking you for your kindness. Bonus tip: put out a suet feeder to attract the meat eating birds who will then nest in your yard. Come spring those birds will eat all the bad insects invading the garden.
More tips on how to survive the holidays
#3. Give a gift of your loved one's belongings. It's really hard to part with these things, but the holidays are the perfect time to do so. Share treasures with those family members and friends who will appreciate them. You know who they are. Remember my blog post about William's hats? Many of them now live among his friends.
#4. Talk to your loved one or write them a letter. Share the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year or just tell them about your day. Death may end a life, but it doesn't end the love and memories. It doesn't end the relationship. Keep the relationship alive.
#5. Having guests? Get out the photo albums or create a photo book of the deceased and leave it open on the coffee table. This gives your guests the green light to peruse the book, recall memories and share stories. The conversation can be so uplifting. And if you are not up for company then create and upload a shared album. Invite friends and family to share their photos, too.
#6. Did your loved one have a favorite holiday tradition? Keep it up. My William loved searching for the pickle ornament on the tree. I still hide the pickle.
How do you continue to honor and celebrate those you have loved and lost? Do you have any tips? I really do want to know. Love always and peace in your heart this holiday season.