I've heard people says things like, "it doesn't matter about the turkey/presents/football games/sweet potatoes/green bean casserole/rolls/pies----as long as we're together." I've never heard anyone say "It doesn't matter if we are together, as long as there is turkey/presents/football games . . etc." Yet 2020 has put some of us there. What can we do?
1) Be Gentle. This is year is different. You have already made it through so much. You have been resilient. If there are moments of sadness, that is okay. If there are times of anger, that is okay. If you are missing people, that is okay. If you are missing crowds and chaos and thousand of people shopping in one place, we need to talk. Be gentle on yourself and others. BUT. . .
2) Don't Dwell. You get to choose where you spend your time and emotional energy. Take a look at how long you are dwelling in "what isn't going to happen" versus dwelling in "the hope that things will change". We have learned we are in a world that changes suddenly--who's to say the next big change won't be one that benefits us all? Good can happen as suddenly as bad, but if we are living in the bad, we might not notice the good. SO . . .
3) Focus out. One of the best things I can do for myself when I am feeling depressed and lonely, is to reach out and help someone else. I will say with total confidence, that if you are able to read this, you are going to be okay. If you are reading this, you have something going for you. You have resources. You have chances. You have opportunities. Take the strengths you have and share them with others. Giving to others can help us deal with our sorrow and sadness.
As with everything, take what you can use and leave the rest. Your situation is unique to you. Your way to grieve is unique to you. But if you are feeling stuck, try being gentle, don't dwell and focus out.
We had a great discussion last Wednesday around what we can do to prepare our hearts for forgiveness. We talked about NOT talking (well, refraining from the negative), looking out for the good around us and seeing if there are little options of goodness. I hope you can join us as we talk again on December 2 and discuss some of the guideposts on the journey of forgivness.
You need to register once to receive the link. There is no charge.
Go to stoughtonhealth.com and click on "Classes and Events," scroll to a class in November and click on it. You will receive a website link and call-in phone number. If you have questions. please call Jen at 608-877-3485. (I am grateful to Stoughton Hospital for this opportunity and their technical support in making this happen.)
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