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Resolutions That Help During Grief

If you’ve recently lost a loved one in San Francisco or elsewhere, you may be right in the middle of grieving as the New Year approaches. Normally a happy time, a time of looking forward to new beginnings and hoping for a fresh start, New Year’s Eve for you is just a sad and cruel reminder that you won’t be entering 2020 with the person you love. But what if you turned that mindset around and used your New Year’s resolution to pray for the loved one you have lost as well as for your continued healing throughout the coming year? Bereavement services can certainly help, as can these resolutions that may get you through the grieving process.

Resolutions to Live By

The important thing to remember is that these resolutions don’t just apply to January 1st; they can be incorporated into your life all year long. Grief is an unpredictable process, one that may take longer than you think. It can ebb and flow, resurfacing just when you least expect it. Keep these resolutions handy to cushion the blows when they come.

  • Be honest about your feelings, with yourself and others, says What’s Your Grief.
  • Talk about your loved one. Encourage others to talk about them. Just speaking their name will be cathartic in itself, rather than sweeping memories under the rug.
  • Live in a way your loved one would want you to. Take that trip you had planned together, take the job promotion, find someone new, fall in love again.
  • Seek out a counselor. There is no shame in getting professional help. Sometimes, close family and friends can get overwhelmed when you continually talk about the person you lost. Having a neutral third party to talk to can put a buffer between you and the pain so you can freely talk, cry and mourn with someone who can guide you in the right direction.
  • Begin a project that memorializes your loved one. Memorials can be a lasting and healing way to work through grief. Create a garden or engrave a bench with their name to be placed in a local park — whatever it takes to pay a lasting tribute to their memory.
  • Let go of the guilt you may be feeling on getting on with your life. Your spouse, parent, or other loved one would not want to see you get stuck in life and stagnate. They would want you to embrace life and move on.
  • Teach your children that there are safe ways to express grief. According to Psychology Today, buried grief can bubble to the surface in negative ways later on in life. Teach your kids not to fear grief but to embrace it as a way of coping with the initial experience.
  • Write in a grief journal or in a blog on a regular basis. Get the words out so they don’t consume you.
  • Donate to a cause that may have been important to your loved one.
  • Plan a vacation. Just you, or just you and your friends. Whatever it may be, plan it, look forward to it, and have an amazing time.
  • Get a half hour of sunshine and fresh air each day. Go for a walk, sit outside with a book, etc. Get some vitamin D, breathe in the air, and reflect.
  • Join a book club or create a must-read book list for yourself. Create deadlines, read books that make you happy, and talk about them.
  • Set aside time to unplug. Put the computer and phone away, make dinner, read a book, watch a show that makes you laugh, go out with friends. You need to recharge regularly each day, and it’s hard to separate yourself when you are tethered to an electronic device.
  • Start a hobby. Whether you choose — baking, sewing, photography, hiking or scrapbooking — devote time to it every day.
  • Take a yoga class. Revel in the quiet.
  • Get organized. Still struggling with organization and household tasks that used to be the responsibility of your loved one? Now’s the time to tackle those responsibilities or ask for help.
  • Make positive changes in your diet and fitness routine. Grief has a way of sapping your resolve. For the new year, resolve to get off the couch, start exercising (take a class, run with friends or hit the gym) and embrace a healthier diet. You will be amazed at what good food and physical activity can do for your emotional well-being.
  • By the same token, minimize or give up unhealthy habits you may have been falling into, such as drinking too much alcohol, eating takeout every day or smoking.
  • Slow down. In your haste to run away from your grief, you may find yourself exhausted from all the activity and running around. Take a moment each day to slow down, allow the feelings to wash over you, accept them and move on.
  • Create new traditions to honor your loved one.
  • Attend a support group to talk about your experiences with others who have the same ones.
  • Reach out to anyone you have lost touch with. Resolve old grudges. It may not be easy but it’s necessary to put away that guilt and anger that you may have kept hidden for so long.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be specific. If you need help with child care, ask for it. If you just can’t get the grocery shopping done this week, ask someone to do it for you. People who love you want to do anything they can to help, but they often need direction because they feel helpless.

Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice

We would be happy to discuss our bereavement services with you when you call us at 888-978-1306.