by Cynthia Cotte Griffiths
Be Good to Yourself
Make sure you exercise, eat healthy, sleep, exercise, and meditate. Reach out and talk to friends who can support you and perhaps schedule regular activities with you. Set small daily goals such as reading a verse of scripture, texting one friend, making one healthy treat, etc.), Limit things that drain you or bring you down (such as scrolling on social media, the news, etc.),
Accept Your Feelings
Don’t push your feelings down and suppress your emotions. Recognize and accept what you are feeling and allow yourself the freedom to feel it, then find a way to move past the feeling when you are ready. Keep in mind that you are unique and your timeline may differ from other people. It’s okay to take the time to appreciate what you have while you are saddened by what you lost. To work through what you are experiencing, you can try prayer, journaling or talking with a friend or support group.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”Philippians 4: 6-8 New Revised Standard Version
Plan Memorials Before or After Holidays
If you have ways you would like to honor a loved one, you can plan them before or after the holidays rather than during any celebrations you may hold. This way you can both honor the loved one and make a time for yourself to appreciate the meaning of the holiday.
Take It Easy
If you don’t feel like you have the energy, then scale back. You may not have the energy, and that’s okay. If the usual holiday tasks aren’t fun for you now, skip them. Figure out what is important and makes you feel connected to the holiday spirit or the people important to you, and concentrate on those activities. Your only obligation is to take care of yourself.
If you can’t bear the thought of your holiday traditions, create new ones. You can always return to your “normal” traditions next year if that’s what you decide to do. Take this year as a break.
Don’t allow yourself or anyone else to make you feel guilty about not carrying out the usual traditions.
Find Ways to Be in Control
Limit situations that might be stressors. If you have been invited to a virtual holiday party, let the host know that you may not be able to attend for the whole time. Then, if you feel like you can’t make it through the entire conversation, your departure will be easier and allow you to stay in control of the situation.
If your grief is overwhelming and you are having difficulty coping, find a mental health professional who specializes in grief and loss. Support groups can also be found online.
Know That Others Mourn With You
At the National Council of Churches we acknowledge the significance of your grief and mourn with you. On Sunday, May 24, 2020, we worshipped together online. We encourage anyone grieving to watch, “A Time to Mourn: An Ecumenical Memorial Service for Lives Lost to COVID-19,” which offers prayers, scripture readings in multiple languages, and a sermonic reflection to provide a space for people to grieve, remember loved ones, and support one another.
About this blog: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the original author and were prepared in the author’s personal capacity. These views and opinions do not represent those of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, its member communions, or any other contributors to this site.