Grieving Through the Holidays: 11 Tips for How to DealNov 13, 2023
Are you grieving the loss of a loved one, a relationship, current circumstances, or the loss of anything or anyone that brings up feelings of grief in you? If "yes", this episode is for you. But even if YOU aren't experiencing any level of grief at the moment, chances are someone you know is. Grief is a natural & valid emotion and it can show up unexpectedly at any time. For many of us, times of the year like holidays, New Year's celebrations, birthdays, etc., can feel especially triggering, overwhelming or even unexpectedly emotional.
My intention with this episode is to make 11 suggestions of ways you can support yourself through or show up in support of another. As a psychic medium, many of my private readings involve clients who are grieving a loss in some area of their lives or the loss of a loved one, so I share some examples for clients and some of my own as well.
These are just suggestions and you should take what resonates with you and leave what doesn't. Maybe one of these ideas will inspire you to create some tips of your own and I'd love to hear about your own tips and strategies for "grieving through".
*Please remember, I am a medium, not a mental health professional and I always suggest working with a licensed therapist or medical professional for any diagnosis, professional support, treatment, etc.
Hey beautiful soul Welcome to Spirit Speakeasy. I'm Joy Giovanni, Joyful Medium. I'm a working psychic medium energy healer and spiritual gifts mentor. This podcast is like a seat at the table in a secret club, but with mediums, mystics and the spiritual luminaries of our time. So come behind the velvet ropes with me and see inside my world is I chat insider style with profoundly different souls. We go deep share juicy stories laugh a lot, and it wouldn't be a speakeasy without great insider secrets and tips. You might even learn that you have some gifts of your own. So step inside the Spirit Speakeasy. Hey, beautiful soul. Welcome back. Welcome into this episode of spirit speakeasy. As always, I'm so happy to have you here with me. And this week, what I want to talk about is grief, especially as we move into the holiday season, the end of the year. Of course, we have holidays and gatherings all year long, depending on your own personal traditions and beliefs and what you celebrate throughout the year. But for some reason, for many reasons, I feel like sometimes grief or these feelings of loneliness or being alone are differently highlighted. Towards this end of the year time. If you're listening to this, at the time it's being released, we are in November. But this information still holds true through you know, December and the new year in January when we celebrate our calendar New Year and the other types of new years that people celebrate throughout the year, as well as even going into the Valentine's holidays and the springtime holidays and and summertime holidays when people do gatherings. So I don't want to kind of dampen the mood. But I feel like it's so important to talk about this. As a medium, psychic medium, I often see people who are grieving and who have lost in their lives. But I just want to remind everyone that grief doesn't always equate to someone crossing over to the spirit world, we can be grieving in lots of areas where which is where the psychic work often comes in. Not only can we be grieving the loss of a person to the spirit world, as I mentioned, but we can also be grieving relationships. I know I've been divorced, and I know many others have been divorced. And even if it's not a divorce of a marriage, it can be the breakdown of a relationship, it can be a challenge to relationship with people in your life with friends with certainly romantic partners with adult children with more extended family members. So we can be grieving in areas of relationship. I know a lot of people have had shifts or unexpected, like layoffs in their job. So perhaps we're grieving a job or a career that we you know, wanted to be in that now has been kind of rug out from under us feeling. I know people that have lost their homes this year because of financial upheaval. So there are so many things that we can be grieving. And if you're not finding yourself in grief this holiday season, certainly someone you know is and it's really valuable to be able to witness and listen and hold space and support. So whether you yourself are finding that you're facing grief this holiday season, or whether you are showing up to support people you care about or people you know in your life that are I'm hoping that these 11 tips for grieving through the holiday season will be of use quite honestly, I made some notes for myself as usual. But I wouldn't be surprised if this turns into more than 11 tips. Just because you know how it is when I get talking. So whatever it is that we are facing in a grieving capacity. And the other thing is, remember, sometimes those emotions of grief can just rise up unexpectedly. Maybe you're not feeling like you're in a you know, a river of grief throughout this whole season or throughout a whole period of the year. But maybe it's something that's rising and falling for you as events occur. As you know, time passes. People tend to particularly as I mentioned, getting nostalgic around certain holidays or the year changing that kind of thing. And especially in the northern hemisphere we are in this period of the year where it gets dark very early. They're heading where you live earlier and earlier. And sometimes that can just make things feel a little different for some of us. I know when I was growing up I suffered from seasonal affective disorder before, it was technically a thing. So you might even just be feeling a little extra heaviness. Even if you can't put your finger on what you're grieving per se. So, I'm going to go through these tips that I've come up with some of it based on client sessions that I've had over the years, some of it based on inspiration. From other books I've read or podcasts I've listened to, or people I've talked to, we can get a lot of good suggestions and make them our own through others, of course.
So really, I'm just going to start moving through these, and we'll chat more about them. I'll try to give some examples as we go. The first tip I want to give around grieving is finding a support group. For some, it might look like a therapy group. For others, it might look like I know, here in San Diego, and certainly in other places in the country. And in the world. There are groups for parents who have lost children, or people that have lost parents or groups related to specific ways of passing. I know that there's a big movement for suicide prevention and grieving, I know that there are lots of support groups around specific types of cancer or just cancer in general. And you know, Google is your friend with this. So you might not off the top of your head know of any support groups, but you can certainly Google in your area. And the other thing to remember is a lot of things are available, excuse me online now more than they were in the past. So maybe you're not someone who lives in proximity to some of these groups. But it doesn't mean that you can't join virtually or remotely. And remembering that you don't necessarily always have to share, you can just be there. And just by being there, you're receiving support you're in community, which really helps, especially when we're moving through grief. Grief is not a checklist of a process. It's something like I said that can rise and fall something that can be with us while we're facing other things. So whether you have access to a therapist or therapy support group, or maybe it's more of just a community support group, I highly recommend, even if you're listening to this kind of early before we've really tipped into the holidays, it's a great time to just start searching for some resources in that way. And as a little side note to this one, perhaps there isn't a grief group that suits or fits your specific needs. I've even known groups for they might not be titled like a grief group. But it might be groups for newly single parents or groups for people who have uncoupled recently or groups for people who are changing jobs. There are things like meetup and other platforms and resources like that, where we can find things. But if there's nothing that suitable, you can also think about creating your own support group. And maybe it's just an invitation you put out to a group of friends, or people that are also going through their own personal things this year, everyone is even if they're not talking about it, we each have things happening in our lives. And certainly there are things happening globally all the time. So maybe you yourself want to host an online or in person if you want to open your home or if weather is nice enough for you to meet at a park or library, hosting your own kind of, quote unquote unofficial support group. Of course, letting people know that you're you know, if you're not a therapist, let people know you're not a therapist, I'm not a therapist, as as I hope all of you know. But it doesn't mean we can't hold space and be witness to other people's pain. We definitely can't fix it for them, which particularly many of you who listen to this podcast are sensitives and your own right. And as a sensitive often one of the things that we our intuition is is to like give answers give help give, you know how do we help to fix this for this person, and there's no fix for grief as we know, it really is just a process that we get to go through it's just several emotions that cannot be erased or quote unquote, fixed. So how can you be in community and just be witnessed to that person? Maybe it's just being in the physical space with this group of people maybe people want to share and maybe some people don't and all of that's okay, but there is something about being in a supportive community that's organized around providing the support maybe it's just you getting a group of friends who live close by and you guys can go for a walk and if you have bad weather remember those mall walkers I don't know if you if you're a mall Walker, let me know but I always remember I used to work in retail when I was younger and early in the morning when the employees were coming into the mall, but it wasn't officially open, there'd be people in their track shoes like walking around the mall. So you can even do that. And maybe you're not talking about the grief, maybe it's just this is the time when we are all together, supporting each other than witnessing each other, maybe there's a time to share. And maybe there's not, it's up to you. But really being in community is so important. And often when we're in grief, specially as sensitives, we tend to retreat within ourselves. Sometimes the inner narrative sounds like, well, I don't want to burden anyone else, I don't want to bring anyone else down. But let people that love you support you and call people together. In this way of supporting or find a group that already exists, it just really is so helpful, and often when we don't feel like it is when we need it the most. So that is one suggestion. The next suggestion is kind of along a similar line, but a little different, I'm going to take a quick sip of water, it is getting dry here. Think about having a support, buddy. Maybe creating your own group feels really overwhelming for you. Or maybe you feel a little too
much like you don't want to be part of like a bigger support community that already exists, even though I highly recommend it. And even if you do have a bigger community for support, you can think about having a support buddy, kind of the equivalent of of any type of accountability, buddy, but they're not trying to get you to a certain goal. They're not trying to hold you accountable for your grief. They're just there to support you. And you can be there to support them if you're available for that in wherever you are in your own healing and emotional process. Or maybe it's just that they're there for you. And what that can look like is if you have a friend that's close to you, or even someone that you feel comfortable with, even if they're new friend, sharing a little bit about your story and what's going on, perhaps it's that you've lost someone, perhaps it's that you've lost a job or had a breakdown of a relationship, like we talked about earlier. And just tapping into that vulnerability. So this is where it gets a little bit uncomfortable, perhaps, but you don't have to share the whole story. You can just say, Hey, I lost someone this year. I'm really feeling like I could you I would love a support buddy, you could even say it that way to go through these holidays. And would you be willing and available that if I just want to text you or give you a call that we can, we can just kind of keep in touch through this holiday season. And maybe you can check on me a little bit, whatever it is that you need. And all you sensitives out there, I know that we tend to not like to ask people to check on us we feel again, it's it's this permission. It's this not wanting to impose. But really, I'm sure each one of us if you had someone that you cared about that said, Hey, I'm just struggling a little bit this holiday season or a lot or I've got grief about this, Could you could you just be a buddy and I can just reach out to you and we can share some texts when I need support. I'm sure you would say yes, it's not a problem. So just know that others probably feel like it's not a problem for them. Particularly, if it's one person that you feel comfortable with that feels like a safe space for you. It could be a friend you've known a long time or couldn't be someone you meet in this one of these grief groups that you're going to join and just say hey, I'd love to be able to touch him now. And then it could look like coffee once a week, even virtually on an online platform or through like a FaceTime type thing. It could look like just random texts, here and there throughout the week, it could look like a weekly check in. It could even be funny little memes that you're going to send back and forth just as a touch point to know that that person's Okay. Certainly, you know, again, certainly doing a therapeutic relationship with a licensed counselor is wonderful if you have access to that. But a support buddy is a great assist for that. So just kind of start thinking about who you know, that you would feel comfortable with, even if you don't want to talk about what it is that you're grieving, but just having a person there. Kind of a lifeline, if you will, that you can just touch into, even if it's to get a break from being in your own head, someone that doesn't require things of you. It's just the role is support buddy. And I feel like all of you have someone that would be willing to do that, particularly if you met them in some kind of a support community and there are tons of online support communities as well. So I really encourage you to dive into Professor Google as is the joke. But you know, and just see where you can find your support buddy, I can almost guarantee that at least 95% of you already know someone that would be more than happy to just do gentle check ins with you throughout, you know, until until February or until you know, whatever the month is that you're needing that extra support in or maybe it's a few months. The third suggestion that I have is, throughout the holiday season or whatever season you're in, finding ways to honor what was. Now if we're grieving an individual, we can certainly find ways to honor their life to honor their dreams. I know many people that have started foundations are community organizations in honor of a loved one that is passed in honor of something that they wanted to do. I know people that do fundraising for scholarships in someone's name, because they didn't get to go to university in their lifetime, for example, and want to kind of pay that forward to others. It doesn't have to be a monetary thing it can be, you know, perhaps your loved one that has crossed over that you're grieving had like a favorite holiday cookie, maybe you bring together a group of your friends are people that knew this person, and you make the cookies and you pass them out to each other or in your neighborhood. There's lots of ways to honor what was. And an aside with this one, too, I just, I feel like I say this so frequently, but I'm sure there are some who need to hear it again, our loved ones who have crossed over are not gone, they're not in some faraway place, their soul continues on, they retain their memories, they just are present with us in a different way. So it's not like they're completely gone. And you're having to honor someone who no longer exists anymore, they still exist just in another way. So you're just honoring certain things that they enjoyed in their life, or certain dreams that they had, or certain ways that they were, I've even known people who went back through someone's artwork and created kind of like a memory book of all their favorite art pieces, or put it on postcards and sent them out as like a holiday card to share this person's artwork. So there are millions of ways to do it. And if it's not a person that's crossed over to spirit that you are grieving, if it's, for example, a a home that you're grieving, the loss of a home or a dwelling space, you know, maybe it's thinking about the traditions that you did in that place, or the ways that that place supported you temporarily, and honoring and celebrating them in another way. So really, just thinking about how you can honor you know what, what it is that you're grieving the grief itself, the what it is that you feel like you lost. And if it's perhaps like a work community say that you got laid off. Like I said, I know several people that got laid off this year in different capacities. And they really miss this one person I'm thinking of in particular really misses like the camaraderie and the celebration around this time of year with their work colleagues, they would have, you know, specific gatherings and parties, and they would do little, almost like secret santa ask things for each other little gift giving exchanges and things like that. You can honor what you enjoyed about that. And you can also recreate some of it in different and new ways. Maybe you you know, call those seven work colleagues that you really enjoy doing that with and leave out the ones you weren't so crazy about and have a little gift exchange your own. So actually know someone else that I am sure I want to I try to like give these examples where it's not too too specific. But I know someone who lost a loved one, a partner, and this partner, shout out to this person, if you hear this, you'll know who you are. It's a unique and specific thing. And I think it's a really beautiful way of honoring and they are someone who celebrates the Christmas holiday. And so this person was into motorcycles and had bandanas of different kinds that they wore when they did the motorcycle riding and so they decorated their Christmas tree with all these beautifully tied bandanas in a way to honor their loved one that had crossed over to the spirit world that year. So there's lots of ways we can honor what was but just trying to ignore or forget about or shove down those feelings about what was is not better. So if you can find a way to honor it or acknowledge it as it sometimes can help with the grieving this holiday season, let's move on to the next one, which is not really the opposite of this, but tied into it, which will be our fourth tip for grieving through any holiday season is creating new traditions. Now, if it is that we are memorializing someone that's already crossed over. One thing I loved to do when my kids were growing up a tradition I created was to go see the Christmas lights, it doesn't cost anything. We live many different places, and we did it many different places, kind of just driving around the neighborhood, you could if if you have someone that you you know, love to see Christmas lights with or that loved lights of any kind and that way, decorative lights, you could create a little caravan of people that knew them or people that didn't, and go around. And that could be your new tradition, seeing the lights in a different way. It could be you just creating a tradition that's meaningful to you. When I
want to, I want to say this in the best way possible without like, making it a sad story. One of the what was the first year that, you know, when you have a divorce, often if you have kids, there's different custody agreements and shares. And the first year that I didn't have my kiddos on Christmas day, it was a little sad, it felt a little lonely. I remember the streets I lived in LA at the time, Hollywood felt very still. And I didn't have them. And really my whole world, you know, revolved around them. And what I did was I had another friend who, um, that person didn't have kids. But we got together and went to a movie on Christmas Day, there are places open on some of these holiday days, because not everybody celebrates the same holidays. So for a few years, I had that tradition, when I didn't have the kids on Christmas Day, which I typically did not, I would go to the movies. So that became kind of a little tradition for myself, I love going to the movies, I enjoy seeing movies in that way. But you could do a movie day at home for yourself. If you don't enjoy going to a movie theater, for example, I have other friends that have a tradition of like ordering Chinese food or takeout on Christmas or on specific holidays. So you could do that solo or with another friend or friends who either don't celebrate that particular holiday or don't have anyone to celebrate it with. I created a tradition for a little while kind of along similar lines where people that were friends of mine, we would come together not everyone, of course, because some people live geographically different places. But those who are available, and we just do a little bit of it was kind of like an informal potluck. And we call the orphans holiday, because it was kind of those of us that, you know, either didn't have family or were not close to family for many different reasons. So there's lots of ways you can create new traditions around these holiday times, regardless of what holiday it is, for a long time because I live geographically removed from a lot of my extended family and just don't have a very close relationship with them. I would do on Thanksgiving Day, we would obviously well not obviously when we did food at some point during the day because like most of us eat most days. But we would go to the beach in the morning in California where I live. Typically, even when it's cold here, it's not like Boston cold selling back east cold or cold, like it isn't a lot of places. So we would go to the beach. And even if it's 50 degrees, you can still take a walk on the beach. So that was a special tradition that I had created as a way to infuse something different into the day where you could place sadness. And of course, it's important to honor those feelings. We're going to talk about that in a minute. But think about what new traditions can you create for yourself that feel fun and exciting for you this Christmas, actually. And I'm someone who celebrates Christmas. I like the I like the holiday. I like the season. So my kids are grown, as many of you know and for many years partially because of the custody thing and the way it was I got accustomed to doing holidays on a different day. For me personally the day like the date doesn't necessarily mean everything. For me. It's more about the people I want to spend time with the people I care about. So I kind of started a little bit of a new tradition of making my own holiday ornaments. It's something I did when my kids were very small with them and it's something I'm going to be doing this year just for myself, which I'm pretty excited about and we'll talk more about that in a minute. Tip Number five is write out. Your write it out is the way I said it. Honor your grief and your story. Now it doesn't have to be on the holiday proper. But if that's the day you want to do it, you could do it any day you like. But like I said, shoving the feelings down are a way is not helpful, it just will fester and come out in different ways. Trying to ignore the feelings is often not helpful. So perhaps you can write the story that you have going on. If it's about a person, certainly you can write memories that you have with them write about the feelings that you have, but kind of get it out express it in some way. If you're someone who doesn't like to write, but you like to paint, for example, you can paint a memory or a story, it doesn't have to look like any kind of way is what I want to say, as an artist myself, I believe in having a lot of permission around. You know, sometimes we think, Oh, if it doesn't look like this perfect picture of this Thomas Kincaid scene, for example, it's not very good. But artistic expression, it doesn't have to look like anything, it can be very abstract, it could represent your feelings, it can represent the relationship you had with this person in this example it could represent if it's if it's a job loss or a loss of physical things, it can be some representation of that it can be collage, but really just finding a way to get it out writing is a wonderful way. So think about writing out your feelings to help you be with the grief because the grief is going to be there. Either way these feelings if you have them, you have them either way, and trying to I don't know kind of spiritually bypass them is probably not going to be better. So think about writing, writing it out. Write out the feelings of your grief, write out what it is you're grieving, write out the story, you're telling yourself about it. Really just starting to express the parts of it that you do know, even if it's I'm sad, I'm angry, I don't like this. More feelings will come out as you write. So I highly encourage you to think about writing it out honoring your grief, your story, whatever it is that you're grieving, like I said, whether it's a person or a situation or relationship, whatever it might be. My next tip, I keep having to count because I didn't number these, I just kind of bullet it out, I wasn't sure how many there were going to be this is the sixth tip is think about filling your heart through volunteering. There's lots of ways we can do this. Obviously, we know that there are many formal volunteer programs, particularly around holidays, where people need to be fed, for example. But there are other ways to volunteer as well, perhaps you're volunteering with animals, perhaps you're going to go you know, visit an animal shelter and give love in that way. Perhaps you with those holiday cookies we talked about earlier, maybe you're packaging them up and passing them out to neighbors or people in need or using it as a way to let people know that you see them and you want to make connection with them or that someone's thought of them. I have a dear friend who along with all of her travels, particularly when we'd all be like a big group of us together for a meeting or workshop, she would collect all of the toiletries that the hotel gives away. You know, they have those like mini shampoos and soaps and things like that. And so she would always tell everyone, if you're not going to use your toiletries, give them to me. And she would make these Ziploc packages with some toiletries. Usually like some tooth brush, toothpaste, some warm socks, sometimes some feminine products, some whatever she could kind of get her hands on and she'd make these packs and she always keeps them in her car. And when she drives around, she passes them out to people that she sees that she feels are in need or that could use them. So it could be something like that that you're doing there are so many ways to volunteer. And like I said it could be a formal volunteer program or it could be not it could be just you and a few of your friends or just you alone that says Okay, today I'm going to go down to the beach and just pick up trash or to my local park and you know, clean it up a little bit. There's lots of of ways that we can volunteer of ourselves, our time, our expertise. Maybe you have an expertise in something maybe it is that you you know are laid off from this job as an accountant but you have these accounting skills maybe you want to start putting out some YouTube videos for people have easy ways to put yourself on a budget type thing. What is it that you have to give and remember, it doesn't have to be giving monetarily giving up your time giving up your expertise. She's giving of your heart. I know someone else actually, I'm not sure if she's still with us, she was an elder in the community, who would knit lots of baby blankets. And she would just give them to the someone she knew at the hospital, to give out to people, not everyone has a grandma knitting them baby blankets, and it's a lovely way of giving to give something that's handmade that love goes into. So there's lots of ways to volunteer and to get involved. And again, even you if you wanted to create your own walking support group, that's a way of volunteering, you're volunteering your time you're creating community. So if you are feeling lonely, or grieving or empty hearted, a great way to fill your heart is to give of yourself to others.
And there's, there's a million ways to do that. I'm so curious to hear if you have any ways that you give charitably that are not monetary, of course, if you have the funds, and you can give money to an organization like that's great, I'm sure they can use it. And that's a beautiful thing to do. But actually getting involved sometimes just fills our heart in a different way. We're all individuals. So it's whatever works for you. But do you have creative ways that you give of yourself that you volunteer a gift or something you can do like a beach cleanup? What are you doing, I'm also reminded of early in the pandemic, when we saw those videos, particularly in Italy, but I'm sure they did it in other places. Maybe that's just my feed of people who were like beautiful violinists, for example, opening their windows and giving amazing concerts just out into the air for whoever might be listening. Are there things like that, that you have the ability to do, and maybe it's just witnessing for someone else, maybe it's just holding space and listening to someone else's story. And maybe you agree with yourself, you're gonna do that once a week for a stranger, you're gonna just hear their story or ask them about their self. There's lots of ways to get creative with volunteering, I would love to hear some of your examples, you can either leave them in the comments for me, wherever you're watching or listening to this. If you email them to me admin at joyful medium.com is the best for that. And I could read a compilation of those at some point, that would be really fun. Well, let's move on to the next way to be moving through your grieving process or being with grief during any holiday season. This one is kind of tough. Sometimes I think this is the number seven, if I'm counting, right? Be honest, and gentle with yourself. If you're not someone who wants to share about your grief, that is okay, if that's the part of the process that you're in. And if you do want to share, maybe only with a therapist, you don't have to share your feelings with everybody. If they're private, it's okay. If you want to keep it to yourself, it's okay. But I do suggest being honest with yourself. Maybe there's a day that you wake up and you're just not feeling it. And you're really deep in those waves of grief that day. Be honest and gentle with yourself, you can swap out gentle for kind if that word feels better for you honest and kind with yourself. And it's okay to say like, Yeah, I'm having a rough day today, or I'm feeling slow today, in my grief, I'm feeling really in the mud of it in the thick of it. And again, this goes for whether you are feeling and grieving about a person that's crossed over to spirit. They're with you and supporting you through your grieving process. Again, I just want to highlight that by the way, but if you're in breakdown of a relationship, perhaps you are uncoupling this year with your partner. And there's days where justice tougher for you, maybe you maybe you separated and are living in different spaces, and you find a pair of their socks, for example. And it really hits you and gets those emotions. Just being honest with yourself about how you're feeling. We and our culture and society are so the word is programmed to give the response I'm fine, I'm fine. It's fine. I can do it. Keep going. Right? Many of us that's the way we've had to live our lives. i If you have a trust fund, that's wonderful. Congratulations. I don't and most of us don't. So yes, there are practical aspects and ways that we do get to keep going but also just being really honest and gentle with yourself. Maybe you don't wear makeup that day because you just don't have it in you to put it on and that's you being honest with yourself saying you know what, I'm going to go to the store and pick up these groceries that I need because I'm going to nourish myself but also Ah, this is a tough day for me and I am not going to, you know, do myself put myself together, I'm not going to shower, I'm not going to do makeup, I give myself permission to just go to the store and come back and not engage. It's being honest with yourself with what you need in that moment, and being kind and gentle to yourself, not beating yourself up and saying, Oh, I can't believe we're gonna go into the world look in that way, you probably smell like pigpen. And you go, who's going to look at you with no makeup on? It doesn't matter. It's just being honest with yourself with where you are, and practicing some self compassion, being gentle with yourself and kind with yourself, just like you would for anyone else. If there was someone in your life that was grieving in any capacity. And maybe they articulated it to you and said, I'm having a really tough day. I just, you know, I'm here, but I couldn't I couldn't get it together to do my hair, but I'm here. You would give compassion to them and kindness and say, okay, that's okay. I don't care what your hair looks like, I'm glad you're here. Thanks for showing up. Or, you know, maybe they couldn't show up in whatever way you thought you needed them. They let you know. And we're honest and came from a true place you could give them gentleness and kindness. Can you do that for yourself is what I'm asking here. It's not always easy to be honest with ourselves about what we are feeling. Sometimes we don't even know or feeling. Sometimes it's a stew of Messy emotions, right. But sometimes that can give you the space to either sit with yourself, go for a walk, maybe you're somewhere where it's cold outside, and you got to find a treadmill to walk on or walk around your own place, or sit and stare out a window, if you have the time. And just get really clear and honest with your feelings, whatever they are, it's okay to have all the emotions when you're grieving. And sometimes we have them all at once. And sometimes they come in different segments. So just allowing yourself to be honest with yourself, you don't have to share it again, I, I experienced so many clients who have lost a loved one, particularly that due to either aspects of the relationship or perhaps an aspect of the passing, they have some anger as part of their grief. There's things that they are feeling angry about. And they not always but occasionally, they don't like to be honest with themselves, they feel bad for having that angry feeling they feel shameful or wrong or embarrassed that they shouldn't be angry, it's okay to have the emotions you have. It's up to you if you choose to share them with others, but at least being honest with yourself, particularly around whatever is rising for you as grief this holiday season and during any holiday season. All right, let's move on to I want to make sure I'm saying these numbers, right.
Number eight. This one is a pivot. So being honest with yourself, yes, but also think about flexing your creativity. As I mentioned, I'm going to be making some holiday ornaments this year, that are very crafty. I'm a bit of a craft nerd when I choose to be. So that is one way I'm flexing my creativity. And I'm kind of I've kind of planned for it ahead. I I know that my kiddos will not be with me on that the exact days of the holiday, they've got things going on my son is actually in another part of the country right now. And my daughter's just in another part of town but I she works and she has other relationships. And I don't know when I'll see her throughout the holiday season, although I'm sure I will. But for me, I know that I can use those days or days, pre holiday days or around those holiday days to flex my creativity. That's something that always helps me, particularly when I'm moving through tough emotions of any kind. I actually a couple weeks ago, some of you know this taught myself to crochet, which is something I did when I was a kid. You could find even learn just about anything on YouTube. I'm convinced I say that all the time. So that's one of the other creative outlets that I'm going to be doing this holiday season and maybe you're not expecting to be grieving. Maybe you're living your best life and you're feeling just fine. And if you're like me, you're single and happy and things are generally okay and going fairly well. Sometimes we can be triggered by something unexpected. It could be someone mentions a previous partner or mentioned something that we still have some feelings about maybe we didn't even realize we had more feelings about. So for everyone Whether you feel you're grieving this holiday season or not, I might just prepare some ways that you can flex that creativity, maybe you're gonna make a holiday playlist and that's your jam and you love music. Maybe you hate the holiday music. And you're like, I need some playlists that have no holiday music, because I get really burnout by hearing all the holiday music. Whatever it is for you, there are so many ways to be creative. Maybe you're going to redecorate your house, or even just like reorganize what you have. Maybe it's crafting something, if you're crafty, maybe it's learning a new recipe or exploring changes on old recipes. There are so many ways that you can be creative and flex that creativity, I just encourage you to start thinking about some ways that might feel good for you to explore your creative side. If you already know you have a creative side, you probably like most of us have a stack of books waiting to be read and a stack of creative projects you know on a list or in your mind or that you've ordered some supplies for, but just giving yourself permission to lean into the creative side of you this year. Maybe you're someone who is a really good calligrapher or has beautiful handwriting and you can creatively help someone else with holiday cards or invitations as a way to move your emotions sitting still and being quote unquote, stuck in an emotion. Yeah, sometimes that's what we need to do. But for a long gated periods of time, we can it can often just continue to drag drag us down in a different way. So flexing your creativity is a great way to let those emotions move through you. Maybe you can create a song even if you don't feel like you're a songwriter. Something I do that I don't really share with people, but I'm gonna share it with you guys today. I have several playlists, which most most of you know I have a playlist. For me that is a very emotional playlist and every song on that list evokes often difficult emotions. That's just the truth of it. Because sometimes I can be resistant to going into that place and feeling those emotions even when I need to. And something I do this is my nerdy thing that I never share with anyone. I don't know if anyone knows this about me. I I'm not trained in dance. But I've always loved to dance. When I was young, I went to many nightclubs and did much dancing. But I do my own expressive dance to this emotional playlist in my own house secretly, and no one knows. I just did it a couple of days ago. And typically, it's mostly dark shades drawn, I'm not trying to do a show for neighbors, it's just for me and I really just move my body and perhaps you are differently abled in your body, it's okay to just only move the parts of your body that you feel comfortable moving in ways that help move the emotion or that you feel are expressive to the pieces of music, that means something to you. Maybe it's a happy dance, but maybe it's an emotionally expressive or emotionally charged dance. So just a little, just a little nerd fact about me. It's something that I have always done my whole life. No one ever taught me to do it. It's just a weird thing about me that I do. I it's not something I would ever do for anyone else. It's totally private, it's very personal. And often really just helps me to move those emotions through my body through my system helps me to acknowledge them. And it's not even always about releasing those emotions. Sometimes it's not something that can just be shrugged off and released like that, particularly if it's something you're really grieving. But it can help you to feel them in a different way. If it's a person, maybe it's you know, a playlist that was lots of favorite songs that they had or that you had together that you can move your body to. And depending on how gas prices are where you are. I also used to take long drives as a part of creative ways of grieving. I don't know how creative that is. But you know, just finding ways to flex your creativity as part of grieving through holiday seasons there for those of you that are a little bit artsy or crafty in any way. There's some great sales at lots of craft places, but I also in the past have gone to like thrift stores or secondhand stores and found things flea markets, swap meets that kind of thing and found things that I could creatively make into other things. As a way I guess now we call it upcycling is fancy now but didn't used to be. So perhaps there's a way that you can use your creativity in that way. The next tip that I have for you, which is, number nine is nourish yourself, body, mind and spirit. There's lots of holiday treats. So if those help you or make you feel reminiscent, or you want to enjoy them do, but also be nourishing yourself, body, mind and spirit, making sure you're getting the sleep you need, making sure you're stretching your body, if that's part of what you need. It's definitely part of what my body needs. Particularly if you are in grief and you find yourself not moving your body as much as you normally would. Stretching can be wonderful, even just going for a walk. If the weather allows where you are outside and moving your body can help body, mind and spirit. So pay attention to what you are listening to what you are watching. It's great to I mean, YouTube, I love those of you that listen to this podcast, thank you very much. There's lots of episodes that hopefully will nourish your mind, YouTube's got a ton of great stuff, videos and content that people have put together that will nourish your mind. Sometimes I had a time recently where I as I said, The Grief can kind of rise and fall I had a rise of grief in my own space. And I watched discovery of National Geographic documentaries for half a day, as a way to kind of nourish and nurture myself. So make sure that you're nourishing yourself and nurturing yourself. If there's a spiritual practice that works for you, whether it's meditation, or prayer or mantra or contemplation, or whatever it is, for you. Make sure that you're getting in that spiritual practice, the times when we feel the least like doing it are usually the times we need it the most. Maybe it's a ritual for you of taking a bath and clearing your mind or listening to some positive affirmations. And particularly if you have lost a loved one, even if that's not what you feel like you're grieving this holiday season, maybe you're grieving, you know a separation of a relationship or a loss of a job or your entire life being an upheaval and pivoting in a direction you thought it wasn't going to. You still probably have people or pets on the other side that you love. You can even nurture your spirit by communicating, connecting, sensing, talking to them knowing that they're there, asking them for signs being available for synchronicity. So there are a lot of ways to nourish your body, mind and spirit maybe there's a book you've been meaning to read or that
I always think if someone like gives you a book or gifts you a book, it's it's kind of like a universal sign of like, you probably need this information that's in here, I have a few like that that are on a shelf that I've been needing to get at. So particularly if as part of your grieving you feel like you need space alone, it can be wonderful to dive into something that's mind nourishing. There are lots of other grief podcasts, there are, you know, lots of other spiritual podcasts. Certainly, there's this one that I hope has provided lots of information for you. Maybe it's taking a mini course that just feels fun, that doesn't feel overwhelming or tedious or like you're shoving yourself into work, for example, but something that can really nourish you, body mind spirit. And let's come on to number 10. Create your own gatherings to honor grief and celebrate life. So I know sometimes as self proclaimed introverts or sensitives, we don't always feel like gathering with lots of people. But what if you made a gathering that had intention? What if, you know, like I said, most everyone I can think of in my life is going through something in some capacity in their own way. Maybe it's you know, you're gonna invite people together to come together, whether virtual or or in person, depending on your personal situation. And maybe you're just going to have tea, maybe that's the intention, we're going to have a two hour tea, you bring your favorite mug, and be willing to tell the story about why you love that mug so much or a story related to it and I will bring tea and cookies. So it's really just creating a container for a small gathering. It doesn't mean you have to invite everybody to that maybe you only invite your friends at like tea and cookies. Maybe you only invite other people that are that you know are grieving but the truth is, even if we don't all share it we do all have emotions. And grief is different for everyone. So sometimes even your cheeriest friend is deeply grieving but just has that fear Feeling but they don't want to kind of put it on anyone is how a lot of us would say it. But can you maybe it's a cookie baking gathering, maybe it's a walking, gathering, just setting the intention for the gathering. And maybe it's everyone can share something they're looking forward to, maybe it's a celebration of life of a specific person, maybe it's just a celebration of life of each person that you brought to this gathering. And maybe part of it is you're going to tell each person, what they mean to you, or why you invited them or why they're special, or why you think that they're brave or courageous, maybe it's a, maybe it's a brave bash, and you invite you know, 10 of your most brave friends or people that you know, that have faced something really tough this year. And in the brave bash, you're gonna give everyone a little brave badge, and maybe you're gonna tell them how proud you are of them, or how much you admire them for continuing on. So really think about your ability to create your own gathering, and maybe it's not on the holiday or near the holiday, maybe it's just during a season that we realize is tough for a lot of people, if you're not someone that's grieving in any way, shape, or form, perhaps it's you holding a gathering for other people to create community and safe space. And maybe at that gathering, you're encouraging people to choose a support buddy, that's going to help support them through this season, there's an endless amount of options and opportunities, maybe it's something really fun, maybe you and all your friends used to love to roller skate at a roller rink, that's very true of me, and maybe your friends who still are physically active, you're going to invite that group and it's going to be a roll roll into the New Year party. And we're just gonna only rollerskate and talk about things we're excited about in the New Year, whatever it is for you that but think about creating your own gatherings. I know a lot of people feel like, gatherings are very stressful at this time of year with high expectations. And often not always having the group of people that we feel comfortable and safe with, especially if we're not the one hosting, but you have the ability to create your own gatherings. And maybe it's a zoom gathering, maybe it's a ring in the new year. On a on an online platform, there's obviously others than zoom. I'm not sponsored by them. It's just the one I use. So it's one that popped into my mind. But there's lots of ways to do it on even teams, I think there's like a way to meet through, like the workspace meetings. And my final 11th tip for you is practice this. And so sometimes we can get so singularly focused, particularly those that are grieving a loved one crossing to the spirit world. You know, sometimes the sentiment I hear and understand from people is how can I possibly be enjoying these holiday lights when I just lost this person? Or how can I possibly enjoy a warm meal with friends when I know people in this part of the world are suffering so deeply. And that's where we can come to this idea of this and enjoying moments in time enjoying something that is beautiful, enjoying a gathering of people and being grateful for what we do have and also acknowledging, recognizing the tough things going on. So sometimes it helps and it's okay if it feels like a little bit of a an escapism, right? If you're just going to leave your worries behind and go to this little gathering or go to this movie or do whatever it is. But just practicing this and can be true more than one thing is almost always true in any given moment. And sometimes even like I was saying, sometimes we've lost someone and we have angry feelings at them. It doesn't mean we can't also hold love for them at the same time. Or we are in a lot of pain or grief around seeing other people happy and celebrating but it doesn't mean we don't want them to have their own loved ones even if we've lost someone. So really just practicing and honoring this and and if that means as part of all this that you choose to opt out of the gathering, give yourself some permission for that too. I'm so grateful that you invited me to this gathering. I'm not going to be able to attend but I'm wishing you the best time I need some space for myself this and I need space for myself and I'm wishing you a wonderful gathering and thanking you for inviting me. Maybe it is that you are going to go to that gathering anyway and just letting your host or your buddy know I'm having a really tough day I'm showing up anyway but I'm I'm not going to really engage a lot I'm I'm just gonna kind of be here in a mellow way, this and I'm here. And also, I'm not prepared to really contribute a lot other than my being here and just you being there is enough, by the way, for those that are supporting people who are grieving in any capacity at this time of year, just being with them, just witnessing just holding space, just sending them a message or checking in, just giving whatever version of ICU or validation is enough, and sometimes it's hard, and we want to retreat because we think I can't help that person, I can't fix this situation, I can't bring back this person, I can't make these two people stay together, when it's not working. We feel like I don't know what to give them. I don't know what to contribute. I don't I don't know how to support them. But most of the time, just being there being a witness isn't enough, just I know, it's confusing the way we say it. But in the work we say holding space, which really means just being with them, letting them share if they want, letting them not share if they don't want, maybe making them a cup of tea, if that feels appropriate, depending on the setting. And just sitting with them just kind of opening an emotional space between you where they are safe to share or just to be. And just being available for them is enough. A lot of times we feel like it's not. But again, that's also practicing this and this person is grieving, and I don't know what to do, but I'm just going to show up, I'm just going to let them know that I'm here, even though I feel totally helpless in doing anything for them.
So I hope that this little list has given you something to think about and given you even just one or two things to consider or hold on to through this holiday season. But there any season of gathering, like I said, there's lots of times of the year that we gather or that we could feel alone or lonely or that we can be in grief about any number of things. And like we talked about grief is something that rises and falls, it's not something that's like a race where it's linear. And we can just kind of cross the finish line and be done. It doesn't really work like that old grief can or you know, grief that's been with us a long time can lay dormant for a while or be a little less noticeable for a while and then we can be somewhere or see something or hear something and it rises back up. So it's just so important to honor what you're feeling, find someone to share it with. Even if it's in a message board and a chat with someone that you don't even know that's okay, too. Please know that I am sending you love and support through whatever it is that you might be grieving this holiday season or whatever might rise up for you. I'm here to support you, I see you and you have love for me. And I'm so grateful for each of you who is a part of this community and who tunes in. If you feel like you want to share what it is you're grieving about. You can definitely share it in the comments, wherever you're watching this. If you feel like you want a little extra support, you can pop into my private Facebook group, which is called Joy's Soul Spa. That's a really lovely supportive community where we do posts and I do readings and we do shares and I teach tools in there sometimes. And you can also look for other energetic management tools. I have lots of information on my website which is joyful medium.com Particularly in the blog section where which is where you can watch all the old videos of the podcast episodes that have been previously released. So finding ways to carry yourself through the rest of the year and any time of year when you find yourself grieving. Again, I hope this was helpful to you. Big hugs, lots of love. Bye for now from inside Spirit Speakeasy.