The Dreading Days
Day 54: The Dreading Days
The “dreading days” come in many forms—birthdays, anniversaries, any holiday, big or small, the date of a beloved concert years ago, and of course, the anniversary of the death. AND the anniversary of the death doesn’t just hit hard on the year-mark—it might loom on day of the week that the death happened--“every Tuesday I brace myself”-- or the day of the month--“it’s the 16th again—I always tank around now.”
Here is a 5-Step Guide as you approach a Dreading Day:
1) Plan: The lead up to these days can often feel worse than the day itself. Making a plan for what you will do this day (who you will spend time with, how you will reserve time for yourself, where you will be, and how you will give yourself permission to change your plan) is hugely important. Write down the plan.
2) Embrace Boundaries: These are days to embrace what you need. Make sure to honor at least one of your needs, asking yourself, what do you need more of this day? What do you need less of this day?
3) Grace for Yourself: Listening to yourself and embracing your boundaries is a great first step. Lean into the grace for yourself this day. That might mean laying in bed for extra time, eating your favorite dessert, opting out of a gathering etc.
4) Do at least one thing to remember your person: This is often the hardest part, AND the one that most of my clients report being so glad that they did. This need not take all day, nor even hours. This could be a toast, going to your person’s favorite restaurant, watching their favorite show, looking at some pictures, sharing a story of them with a friend, or anything at all that moves you closer to the person.
5) Do something for another (with the major caveat of only if you have the energy). A small act of kindness or service towards another can sometimes ignite a sense of agency or control over our world, especially when it can feel so shattered.
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