It's a new year and that means resolutions for many hoping to improve their wellness, health and lives. But for those who have lost someone: resolution season can be a difficult time of making promises that are hard to keep, lofty goals and indecision. Here are a few tips for helping you or those you know and love get through resolution season.
Make Tangible Goals
It's easy to say "I want to lose weight." or "I want to make more money." but those are somewhat abstract goals. How do you plan to lose weight? How are you going to make more money? Attach concrete tasks to each goal. You can pledge to improve work output and earn a bonus or promotion. You can vow to cut down on sweets or fried foods and plan to work out more to lose weight. Those make aspirational goals easier to ground and easier to obtain. And for those that are grieving, the goals may be more rooted in emotion. "I want to cope better with loss." or "I want to honor those I have lost." those also can be turned into tangible goals. Scheduling those crucial first appointments with grief counselors or therapists can help aid some of the grief of loss. Now, for honoring those that have passed on, those goals can be more varied.
Honoring those that have been lost is a deeply personal task. Each person is different and each person's legacy is different. Some would love to be honored by a special tattoo while others would want their loved ones to go on one more spectacular trip. Other ways of honoring those lost would be to vow to visit the places where your loved ones are laid to rest more often. You could also try new expressive ways to cope and grieve through artistic expression like poetry or painting.
Be Honest With Yourself
Change of any kind is difficult. Change while still processing the grief of a lost loved one is even more difficult. Be honest with your emotions and your grief. If you stumble along the way, know that you can always get back up. If you miss a day working out or aren't able to visit the cemetery as often as you'd like, accept it as a temporary stumbling point and move on vowing to do better next time.
This resolution season, be kind to yourself. Accept that each step is a step forward and that grief comes in many forms. Maybe it's an overemphasis on working out or cooking or it manifests as a nearly paralyzing fear to try anything new. Use this resolution season to try new things or rediscover some old hobbies that you love and shared with those who have passed. Take each day as an opportunity to honor the legacy of your loved ones.