Christmas has now come and gone.
Those who are deeply grieving thought they could finally breathe a huge sigh of relief, yet some woke up today and didn’t feel the relief they thought they would feel. Some even woke up and felt worse.
Something I wish someone would’ve told me about the days following a holiday is that some tough emotions can follow along with it. Today’s holiday tip? Be prepared for the depression, anxiety, and other intense emotions that can follow Christmas, holidays, anniversaries, and other big life events…and come up with a plan for relaxation during those times.
Many grievers will feel relieved that Christmas is now behind them, while others are confused why they now suddenly feel worse.
Emotions are so heightened before holidays, big days, or special occasions —in day-to-day life as well as grief—so after the holiday, event or big day happens, those feelings can suddenly crash down…leaving you feeling depressed, anxious, a “void,” or defeated more than usual.
Depending on how big the aftermath and crash of feelings was, the feelings that accompany big events can take you by surprise and even be alarming.
Always be kind to yourself, as well as compassionate and patient with yourself, too. Realize you’re not alone and what you’re feeling is normal.
Be prepared for crashes, as well as any random feelings, and practice seeking God, peace, and times of relaxation when the feelings become overwhelming.
There are many positive ways to get through the tough emotions of grief, as well as many ways to relax. Try one of these 15 ideas or creatively come up with your own 15:
- Pray—talk to God and share with Him all of your thoughts, feelings, fears, disappointments, worries, etc
- Allow music to comfort your soul—listen to soft praise music and soothing sounds, or anything that relaxes you. Consider playing, or learning how to play, the piano, guitar, or other musical instrument.
- Breathe deep and relax—sit quietly, take a hot bath, take a nap, or do something that relaxes your body and mind. Breathing slow deep breaths can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Remind yourself, “it isn’t always going to be like this”—these feelings will not always be as strong or intense. It is very important to remember life can and does get better.
- Call a trustworthy loved one—family, grief support groups, and good friends are invaluable when going through grief. The more support you can gain, the better. It’s also great to talk to someone who has been through similar grief because they can share wisdom and insight of how they got through to better days.
- Do an activity that brings your heart joy—take some time to truly enjoy doing a hobby or activity you currently or previously loved to do. You can also learn new hobbies or activities to do.
- Cooking and baking can be therapeutic—Invite some loved ones over and cook a delicious relaxing dinner together or bake together, or go out to eat and relax with loved ones as you have a night out. You can also have a quiet afternoon of baking by yourself and then enjoy the treats you baked or pass them out to loved ones.
- Sit in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and drink some hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate—Light a candle and read the Bible or a good book, something that is encouraging. As you drink your tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and as you burn your candle, stop and savor the smell.
- Have a mini spa day at home or go out for one—stay home and do a homemade facial, manicure, and pedicure. Or go get a massage, fresh new haircut, or a pedicure at a spa. Bring a friend along, too, and go to lunch afterwards.
- Sit on a porch, look out the window, patio dine, or go on a nature walk—looking outside to relax and reflect on all the ways God has provided for and carried you, family and friends have cared about you, and also reflect on every good thing in your life that has the potential to bring your heart peace and joy. Sometimes a different outlook becomes much welcomed!
- Journal—write down your thoughts, goals, feelings, and life events. Journaling is so very therapeutic. It’s also beneficial to look back one day, read journals you’ve written, and see how far you’ve come.
- Exercise or stretch—exercise has been proven to alleviate stress and help depression and anxiety. It also can be very relaxing.
- Organize your home and life—clutter can add to the chaos of grief, so dedicating even 30 min a day to decluttering your home and life is well worth the effort.
- Enjoy your pet or consider getting a pet—I believe pets are amazing little “heart healers” sent by God. Our family went through a tough grief experience and within a few months, we rescued a puppy. I still always look at our dog and think, “who rescued who.” Deep consideration should be used when getting a new pet. They’re a 6-15+ year commitment so make sure you can handle the time commitment and responsibility of a furry lil friend. To me, they’re totally worth it! There also may be opportunities in your area to volunteer at a pet shelter or to foster pets if you’d like the therapeutic benefits of a pet but can’t fully commit to a lifelong pet.
- Create a Bucket List—I’m a big believer in creating, keeping, and maintaining a bucket list. It helps to focus on the greater picture, as you write down everything you still want to do and achieve, so you purposely don’t waste life. There are many things I was able to do during times of grief because of goals I wrote in my Bucket List notebook.
I hope everybody had a special, meaningful, and blessed Christmas.
Never give up HOPE! Even if things aren’t ideal or good right now, better days are ahead of you!
Gratitude & many blessings,
©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!
💛For more encouragement:
Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com
Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief
FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
2. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
3. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
4. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
Kim’s book (Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/getting-your-breath-back-after-life-knocks-it-out-of-you-kbh-niles/1112403330?ean=9781449725617