The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, and it truly is a magical time of year. Snow-kissed streets. Twinkling lights. Holiday cheer and festive gatherings. Yet, it is also a time for unpacking our pandemic grief that we are experiencing together.
Make space for grief during the holiday season
While I want to celebrate this season’s merriness, I want to acknowledge that this time of year can also be challenging. I want to make space for grief. You know, that feeling that climbs inside of our hearts and heads and cements itself into every moveable crack? That loud voice in our head reminds us of what we miss when the calm finally finds us. It is the restlessness in the middle of the night when the rest of the world seems to be asleep. All of that is grief. It is the mountain of loss we are experiencing because of the pandemic. As a collective, we are grieving. And I want to unpack this together.
I want to normalize the struggles that occur when we lose a sense of normal. I want to remind you that we grieve every loss and that your loss matters. Since March, we have lost so much. We have lost things that we did not even know we had. I need you to spend some time with that, and most importantly, I want you to know that there is a way through. So, what is your grief?
Pandemic grief causing a loss of normalcy?
I will invite you to sit with this one and then spend time finding ways to gain a sense of control over what you can. What does your new every day look like now? Are there new traditions you and your bubble can start this season?
Loss of routine?
So many things have changed, and yes, that is hard. Grieve it, and when you are ready, what is your new routine? Do you miss that walk or drive to work in the morning? Maybe you can go for a walk before you start your day. Miss coffee or lunch breaks with colleagues? Set up a zoom meeting. Or keep up some of your old routines; still pack your lunch, so you have one less thing to do during your workday.
Loss of roles?
So many of you are wearing all the hats (parenting hat, teaching hat) and wearing them simultaneously. Let us try and take breaks when we can and give ourselves permission to wear one hat focused on self-compassion.
I want you to know that you are not alone, and I need you to understand that it is okay to be both/and. You can be grieving and grateful. You can be happy and sad. You can be excited and overwhelmed. We are all in this together, and let us all work together to spread joy whenever possible. If you can give only one thing this season, show kindness and remember — presence over presents.
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