Coping with grief during the holidays can be extremely difficult. My Husband passed away months before the holidays (in April), and when December rolled around, it was extremely difficult. This is compounded by the fact that for many of us, were still trying to makes sense of the tragedy and loss. The holidays signify love and time well spent cherishing those around us – so when the ones we cherish the most are gone – it can seem unbearable.
The holidays also bring with it many demands in terms of gift-giving, attending holiday parties at work and with friends and family – and expectations of us that may not line up with our current needs and desires, which can lead to stress and fatigue. It has been well documented that rates of loneliness and depression actually increase during the holidays.
According to Anthony Komaroff MD, in an article for Harvard Medical School, “Grief is not a tidy, orderly process, and there is no right way to grieve. Every person—and every family—does it differently. This can cause emotions to collide and overlap, especially during the holiday season when the emphasis is on rebirth and renewal”.
This is why the messages and strategies outlined in my new book, Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, are so important. The book provides a framework for bouncing back from life-altering setbacks and living life on your terms. A key part of this strategy is embracing a “Holistic Wealth Mindset™,” and this stems from the “Holistic Wealth Method™,” which I’ve also developed.
Here Are 5 Strategies for coping with Grief During the holidays:
1. Embrace a Holistic Wealth Mindset
During the holidays its important to focus on your needs and desires – and self-care becomes all the more important especially when dealing with grief and loss. Each of us makes at least 36,000 decisions per day – and during the holidays each decision you make can impact your mental health in a positive or a negative way. The Holistic Wealth Method™ is a framework I developed for assessing your actions and decisions. In applying the Holistic Wealth Method ask yourself: will this decision be a withdrawal from or a deposit to my holistic wealth bank account?
Approaching life with a holistic wealth mind-set means approaching life mindfully and with the realization that each decision and each action represents a withdrawal from or deposit to that holistic wealth bank account. Repeated withdrawals from the holistic wealth bank account will lead to bankruptcy. Similarly, there are some actions that act like compound interest in a holistic wealth bank account, like listening to your intuition —the benefits of these actions multiply over time in many different areas of your life. The Holistic Wealth Method can be applied in everyday situations regarding a range of daily decisions. For example, in assessing if a decision will add to your holistic wealth bank account, think about the vision of your life going forward and what you truly want for yourself.
If you have toxic relationships that lead to stress and anxiety over the holidays, then ask yourself if keeping these relationships is a deposit into or a withdrawal from that bank account. Similarly, in thinking about your current spending habits, daily eating regimen, and the amount of time you spend on social media (which can compound your grief), examine how these actions add to (or take from) your overall holistic wealth. Holistic wealth is about having an intentionally designed life—so changing your mind-set is key to ensuring you can achieve it and overcome any setback.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Comparing ourselves to others is one of the most toxic things we can do, especially when were faced with a life-altering setback. If social media makes things worse, take a break for a while. Employ the holistic wealth mindset and embrace actions that add to your holistic wealth bank account. During the holidays, during times of grief, spending lots of time on social media can be a negative experience.
3. Practice Mindfulness
During the holidays its very important to be mindful about our thoughts and actions. As I wrote in my new book Holistic Wealth:
It is easy to be carried away with ruminating about the past and worrying about the future. We waste precious seconds, minutes, hours doing this every single day. When we stop judging our experiences, we become less reactive and better able to tolerate difficulty. Have you ever felt like your mind is a slideshow and it just jumps from one frame to the next? There is no calm or stillness present…….Living in the moment means connecting to our senses and letting our mind focus on feeling alive. Copyright @ Keisha Blair
4.Embrace Gratitude Through Spiritual Self-Renewal
During the holidays, when you are grieving the loss of a loved one, its hard to celebrate just about anything. However, gratitude can help you live a more meaningful, happy life. Spiritual self-renewal is heavily connected to gratitude because it includes taking the time to refresh and renew ourselves though meditation, prayer or even nature walks. How can you help others to enrich their holistic wealth bank accounts? Maybe you can send a positive note to someone who has impacted your life. Or try spending an entire conversation only asking the other person questions about themselves, helping them to feel connected. Today, find one way to give back and carry it out.
5. Help Those Less Fortunate
One of the best things we can do when we are faced with our own challenges is to help those around us. According to Business Insider “a 2016 study from the University of the South suggests that performing “random acts of kindness” for others or for the world can boost your mood. The study found that helping others can boost your mood more so than if you had done something to help yourself”.
After a life-altering setback or any transition in life, its also great to be a part of an accountability group. Afterall, living a holistically wealthy lifestyle is one of the keys to living a happy, meaningful, purpose-driven life. It means living an intentionally designed life. Starting an accountability group can help you achieve that. Plus it can be a very rewarding experience to have accountability partners in life.
If you’re considering starting a holistic wealth project group, email me at [email protected] I’ve created a starter kit to help you kick start your holistic wealth project group.
This article contains excerpts from Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness.