For many of us, the new year means a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to let go of the past and look forward to the future.
However, welcoming the new year can be a difficult experience for those who have recently lost a loved one. And while it may be easy to close yourself off from others, it’s important to seek comfort in those closest to you.
Below, we outline a number of New Year’s resolutions for grievers on their journey to healing.
1. Be Open to Happiness
Attempting to face joy after the death of a loved one is complicated. While one day you may feel happy, other days you may feel sad. Remember, no two people grieve the same, so no matter how long it’s been since your loss, you may still feel emotional moving into a new year.
As the new year rolls in, allow yourself to embrace the stages of grief as they come rather than avoiding them. Gently pay attention to your feelings, and find ways to share your thoughts with friends and family. If a loved one of yours had a personal connection to the deceased, they too may be experiencing similar grief.
Rely on one another for support. With time, feelings of depression, anger, guilt, regret and loneliness will fade.
2. Plan Opportunities for Remembrance
The loss of a loved one is never easy. Although the person you love is no longer physically present, his or her legacy continues to live on through you. Make it a resolution this year to make time to remember your loved one.
A great way to remember your loved one is by finding opportunities to honor them. Is there something they particularly loved to do? Perhaps there’s a charity they volunteered at, or a family tradition that makes you think of him or her.
Whatever it may be, plan opportunities for remembrance. A few ideas, include:
- Compile a photo album or scrapbook.
- Write a poem about the deceased.
- Cook your loved ones favorite meal.
- Donate to a cause in memory of your loved one.
- Create a memorial garden.
You can look back on all the fond memories you have with your loved one, and honor their legacy for many years to come. After all, the best way to honor your loved one is to live your life to the fullest.
3. Try a New Activity
While it may be intimidating at first, trying new things can open your eyes to unexplored passions and possibilities. Plus, picking up a new hobby in the new year may help you focus less on your grief and more on your newfound interest.
As you work through your grief, consider the following activities to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety:
- Take a cooking class.
- Knit a scarf.
- Join the local yoga
- Garden (indoors or outdoors).
- Learn a musical instrument.
- Read a book.
- Journal your thoughts and feelings.
- Volunteer at the local soup kitchen.
- Complete a puzzle.
These activities not only assist in coping with grief, but also promote self-awareness, reflection and relaxation.
4. Take Time for Yourself
In the months following the loss of a loved one, it’s important to remember the grieving process has no set timeline. The stages of grief are natural and often unpredictable, which is why it’s important to do what feels best to you.
Take time to rest and prioritize your needs. Practice self-care by drinking plenty of water, eating balanced meals, exercising and socializing with friends and family. All of these activities can help ease the pain of grief.
As you set out to write your New Year’s resolutions, use this list as a guide in your journey towards healing. To get access to more grief resources, contact Busch for guidance and support.
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