On the Grief Recovery Journey: Take the Holiday Season Easy…

On the Grief Recovery Journey: Take the Holiday Season Easy…

I’ve talked a bit about what it feels like to be on the grief recovery journey. Most don’t understand how difficult the holidays can be when suffering great loss.  I’ve decided to take this Holiday Season especially easy. 

Several weeks ago, the depression and anxiety hit me hard.  I was quietly suffering. If you can imagine those commercials where a dark cloud follows the unsuspecting “sad” person, that was me.  2020 has been a tough year,  I’ve lost so many crucial family members and friends. Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, My husband lost his best friend.  Charles was the best man at our wedding, always there as a good friend, and cried by our side when we lost our son. 

Another crushing loss. 

I decided to approach my Grief Recovery Therapy from a different angle. Go deeper—where I focus on being positive and identifying the gifts that I’ve received from all of this tragedy. I’m working in Grief Recovery Therapy on boosting my Positivity Intelligence with weekly lessons and daily PQ exercises. When I started this program, my positivity score was 40%.  It’s been about four weeks and I haven’t retested yet but I know that I’m feeling less negative and more neutral. 

That’s a start… I haven’t given up all hope yet. There’s still a sliver of light underneath the despair. 

I decided to share, in case others, who have losses similar to mine and may be in need of ideas on how someone else is coping. I’ll repeat this, just in case, it’s not clear. 

Holidays are tough especially after losing multiple loved ones. 

I won’t share the depth of my numbness and depression over the multiple losses in my life. Charles’ death is number 13 for me in 2020.  My grief and loss has definitely compounded and magnified. In times like these, when the grief recovery journey becomes rough, it’s best to take it easy.  

No pushing or rushing or forcing life.  

I know it’s hard during the holiday season.  I opened my email to over 200 “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” sales.  I didn’t read any of them, I deleted or scrolled passed them.  That’s hard for me to say because, I sent emails to my subscribers and I know how important it is for commerce to happen but if it’s a choice of missing a big sale or mental health. 

I choose mental health. I choose #selfcare. 

I’ve gone even more radical with my #selfcare by reducing my stress during this season all the way. I’m not putting up a Christmas tree, purchasing any gifts or engaging in any frenzy this year.  I’m taking the holiday season easy, getting down to what’s important—what truly matters to me. 

(1)Remembering my loved ones in a symbolic act

My grandma and I enjoyed latch hook projects together. I decided to remember my Grandma by working on a latch hook project. It’s important for me to engage in a symbolic act that helps me to practice connectedness to my Grandma. 

(2)Spending valuable time with those I love

 I’m going to sit down with my hubby over the holidays and spend time with him. We’re going to catch-up on movies and TV series. Then, I’m going to call my loved ones on the phone or Video Chat and talk to them, tell them how much I love them. 

(3) Give myself grace and internal calmness 

I’m going to continue to focus on my internal positivity meter with the PQ Exercises, meditations and maybe some Yoga. If I begin to feel out of balance or emotionally in despair, I’m going to stop and acknowledge my grief, and feel my feelings full-out.  

This is how I’m coping with the holiday season and I hope it helps. Yes, I'm taking the holiday season very easy.

Here’s the book related the positivity program. 

Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine 

What about you? Any techniques or programs you find helpful when dealing with grief? Please share. 

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Alicia McCalla photo credit Dr. Howard McCalla

I’m author Alicia McCalla. Sign-up for my newsletter to get updates, learn about my latest projects and purchase my badass, spunky and smart Black heroines on Merchandise!