Even when family invites you along it can be really rough. You’re looking around at other couples feeling very lonely indeed. If your kids are there that can be really dicey, too. You’d think you’d be on the same page but you’re not. You’re grieving different people.
So you have some choices. You can hide out under the covers. You can take a cruise or a trip out of town. Or, you can prepare yourself emotionally for the holiday. I always like that third choice the best.
Here’s a holiday preparation technique I have found to be very effective. For a few days prior to the holiday event, spend about 10 minutes focusing on yours inward self, become inwardly quiet and aware of what you am feeling. Close your eyes gently, and focus on your breath, allowing the emotions you are feeling to float to the surface. As the emotions arise, breathe them out as you exhale. Now focus on the holiday. Say quietly to yourself, “I know this might be hard, but I’m going to be okay. People might say the wrong things but they mean well. I am preparing my heart now to be open to having a good time with my family and friends.”
If you try to pretend that the picnic or cookout won’t bring emotions to the surface, you’ll be sabotaged when they do. There is great benefit to “front-loading” your psyche to expect a bit of discomfort but to also reassure yourself that it will all be okay.
When you allow your honest emotions to surface and be acknowledged prior the holiday event, you’ve prepared your mind and your heart for success.
Happy Labor Day. Enjoy yourself! And remember that every moment of your life is a gift! That’s one of the lessons you’ve learned from death.