During our next meeting, we will discuss tips on making it through the holidays. Feel free to think in advance of any helpful coping mechanism that has worked for you in the past. I plan to have printed materials that you can take home.
I have been rocking through writing this research paper on Creating Supportive Mechanisms for Grieving Mothers. I will be honest, this week has been rough. I found myself short tempered with nearly everyone and with situations at work. I have been pretty much crazy with anxiety and frustration! After a big ole melt down on Tuesday night, I realized..... tomorrow is Halloween. Regardless of your thoughts on Halloween as a whole, it is important to acknowledge that it serves as a reminder that families DO get together. It is a reminder that the "BIG" holidays are approaching. It is a reminder to all of us that our family has forever changed with the loss of our child.
Now what was the REAL reason that I was uber emotional?! I was not practicing good self care! So WHAT is good self care?! Lets talk about this for a moment... For me it is taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Physically, we ALL MUST stretch those sore and tired muscles and exercise. Exercise is important because it helps our brain to function and gives us an energy boost! I am the FIRST to say.... I think I'll just stay on the couch. I have found that when I stay on the couch and my activity level is low, I become more tired and nonmotivated. So stretch and exercise and move your body! Emotionally we must care for ourselves as well. I am eyeball deep in this emotionally charged topic and I wasn't taking my OWN break from grief. You say.... how do you take a break from grief?!?! Well, one thing that helps me personally is to watch Standup comedians. I need to laugh. Many of you will say "Nah! I don't feel like laughing." I do understand this feeling-- and the laughter that you would have felt BEFORE your child died may not be the same laughter. We MUST try to recognize pitfalls before we FALL into them. Ask a close friend to nudge you when you look frazzled and say "Hey... Hows the sleep going? Taken a break from grief lately?" Spiritually we must care of ourselves as well. We are all spiritual beings with a variety of faith backgrounds. What works for me is quiet prayer time and carving out the time to go to worship. Everyone has different ways to feed our spiritual needs.
We are like pressure cookers ready to explode when we do not take care of ourselves. Make certain to take time out for YOU and practice GOOD Self Care!
I found this interesting information that I thought that I would share... It was found in a book Surviving the Loss of a Child by Elizabeth Brown.
Ways to Stay in Charge of Your Own Life
- Accept the reality of change
- Do what works for you, on your own timetable.
- Keep up old routines until you establish new ones
- Avoid hasty decisions as you cope with change and plan your future. A healthy rule: Make no major, life changing decisions for at least one year.
- Appreciate your emotions. Equate strength with surviving, not with having emotions under control
- Recognize you are fragile, forgiving yourself and others for not being strong enough to hold life together with joy in the midst of the chaos of grief.
- Respect the way others grieve
- Use guilt as a learning tool
- Grieve, but do not allow yourself to wallow in negative emotions: guild, anger, hurt, and yearning
- Focus on your family's emotional health.
- Fight lonliness. Be involved. Give and do.
- Be good to yourself. Do what works for you
- Use exercise, music, journaling, reading, travel, projects, etc.
- Take care of legal and medical issues
- Address faith issues
- Write down something positive each day.
Hugs to each of you dear mamas! I look forward to seeing any of you that can make the meeting on Monday Night! Pop me an email and let me know so I'll have an idea...