New Year's Resolutions to Try If You Are Grieving


Often, folks make New Year’s Resolutions they may or may not be able to adhere to, and the ramifications of such can have an effect on us, especially if we are prone to depression when we are grieving. We may beat ourselves up if we don’t follow through on them, however, setting some goals can assist us in our healing process. We who grieve are often in our darkest point of despair in our life. It’s important to not set goals that are simply unrealistic. We need to be gentle with
ourselves. We have been traumatized, and complete healing can take a lifetime. I’d like to simply suggest a few resolutions to think about. If you choose only one, or choose something that is not on this list, you have accomplished a lot.

Numbing. We all want the pain to simply end. Often, we attempt to at least dull the pain in unhealthy ways. We sometimes succumb to using drugs, drinking, smoking, sex, etc. Try to curtail such activities and set reasonable goals for yourself.

Energy. Grief takes a tremendous toll on our energy level. Fatigue is common. Try to eat healthier foods, improve your sleeping pattern as much as possible, drink water daily, and develop some sort of exercise program even if simply taking a 20-minute walk.

What ifs. We are bombarded with the “what ifs” and “if onlys.” Try to stop playing mind games with yourself and work on accepting that “what is” cannot always be changed. You can only try to change things going forward.

You. We often neglect our own personal needs, especially if there are other family members grieving and we want to help them. Replenish yourself when necessary. You are not being selfish when doing so. A depleted warehouse helps no one.

Encouragement. Discouragement from others can lead to despair. We all grieve at our own pace. Surround yourself with folks who do not place unreasonable demands on your healing process with their personal expectations. “Pull the weeds to make room for the beautiful flowers.”

Atrophy. Just as our physical muscles can develop atrophy, so can our soul and spirit. Try to renew the faith you once had or seek faith that offers you hope.

Remembering. We often tend to remember the bad and forget the good. Focus more on the good memories of love and laughter you shared with your loved one.

Suicidal. All of us yearn for our loved one. We may be tempted to “join them.”
If you are bombarded with suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to reach
out for help. If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Routine. We often feel utterly helpless in our grief and completely out of control. Establish some sort of routine in your daily life that you can control to some degree.

Embrace. We often want to deny or suppress the pain. “Embrace the pain.” Feel it and ride the wave of it.

Self-blame. Blaming ourselves that our loved one is now gone is often our way of attempting to feel some control over a situation in which we had no control. Stop blaming yourself… period.

Overt comments. Comments from others that wound often add to our grief. Decide that such are simply unacceptable, and disengage from folks who habitually make them.

Love. Love is a great healing balm. Surround yourself with folks who exhibit love.

Understanding. Often, we find ourselves alone in our grief. Develop relationships with like-minded folks who truly understand the deep anguish of your suffering.

Temperance. So much has been thrown off-kilter. Reinstate some sure footing back into your life with people and things that are more dependable and reliable to give you back some balance.

Introspection. Some introspection and self-examining can be healthy, but too much of it can lead to isolation. Reach out more to others.

Organization. Because of our fatigue and inability to focus, at times, our lives can become cluttered on many levels. Set up a reasonable schedule to re-organize some things that have been neglected.

Never. There are moments when we fear we shall forget some things about our loved ones or that we already have. Keep a journal or diary of thoughts about your loved one as memories do come to mind. Our loved ones will never be forgotten.

Support. Rarely can someone walk this journey of grief alone. There is no shame in needing help. Get some support, whether it be through counseling, support groups, church groups, or all of the above.

There are no shortcuts on this journey. Yearly, monthly, daily we take baby steps. Our lives are forever changed, and it takes time to reestablish the new life we now have without our loved ones. Again, be gentle with yourself.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Getty image by supershabashnyi

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