Mothers day is a bit of a weird one for my family.
I am not the kind of person who tends to dwell on things so when I get the perfunctory call from my sister asking how I am holding up it is usually met with thinly veiled annoyance. This year however its been a bit different. Apparently things are supposed to get easier when it comes to loss. The longer someone isn’t around the more ‘normal’ their absence will become.
But the thing is I am human *SHOCK HORROR* I am also not a doctor *THE JIG IS UP* but I have gone through this (I should really say ‘I am going through this’ because it hasn’t ended) so I have decided to give you my own tips & tricks and try to explain how I cope when the familiar feeling of grief strikes and how I pick myself up on the difficult days, because they do happen.
1. Accept that a bad few hours doesn’t mean a bad day
I have only recently taught myself to not write-off a whole day because part of it isn’t going great. It is so easy to indulge in bad feelings (for me anyway) and there are so many little things you can do to to pick yourself up (: which brings me rather conveniently to my second point:
2. Take care of yourself
I find that on days that are less amazing than most, indulging in a bit of self-care really does make a difference. It is easy for grief to leave you feeling empty and a bit like crap. Being a bit self indulgent sometimes is very much needed, after all no-one knows what you want or need as much as you. Pamper yourself; get a manicure or your hair done or even have a long bath, just something that lets you have a bit of ‘me time’. You have to show yourself some love.
3. TALK ABOUT IT
This is in capitals because it is the thing I find the hardest. I talk constantly, some would say I don’t shut up. I mean I talk for a living, I even talk in my sleep (may explain why I’m single) but on a more serious note; for me, it is hard to talk to people who haven’t experienced a major loss because they don’t understand and then people who have it is almost like you’re burdening them with your issues when they have their own.
But the thing is people actually want to listen, that is really what friends are there for. My dad says I can chat the hind legs off a donkey (whatever that means lol) but for some reason when it comes to talking about how I feel, things don’t seem to flow as freely, but it is something I am working on & I guess writing this post helps a bit too.
4. Do something
Now this in on the same lines but not the same as my self care point, this is more physical. Go for a run, bake a cake, go to a gallery, take a walk etc. Just do something. It is so easy and very tempting to just get back into bed and buy into your feelings, well for me it is. But this is the trick; you can’t afford to sign out of life, so you need to get active. Yes it distracts you from how you’re feeling but more than that when you get active it just gives your brain a bit of space. Recently I have started running and when I run a weird thing happens, I am so focused on breathing (and not falling over) that my mind is completely clear. The worry of work/ family/ money (delete as applicable) just melt away.
5.DON’T FEED THE GUILT
This one is a teeny bit difficult to explain without sounding hella melodramatic, but here it goes:
The longer I don’t have my mum around the less I am sure of what she would think of what I am up to or what I am doing. Now this isn’t me thinking that I am failing in life but more that she isn’t here to see it. Logic tells me that this isn’t something I should feel bad about but we can’t actually help how we feel can we now? Guilts ugly little head pops up and as silly as it sounds I find myself feeling terrible for having fun or living my life. There is one thing that solves this & that’s to realise that this is ridiculous. You can’t allow yourself to feel bad for living your life otherwise what on earth are you here for?
6. Just keep going
Or ‘swimming’ as Dory would say (:
Now don’t get this point wrong, this isn’t me telling you to put on a happy face and carry on as normal, no no. Plastering on a fake smile solves nothing and helps no-one. What I mean is that I have come to learn that the only way out is through. Grief isn’t the destination but more a part of life that we unfortunately have to deal with and live through. One hour isn’t necessarily related to the next and today DEFINITELY doesn’t determine tomorrow
So yes you’ll be hit with these feelings and maybe they’ll become fewer and further in between as time goes on but honestly; I’m not entirely sure that they’ll ever go away fully.
These aren’t fool-proof methods, they are just a few things that work for me personally. I did want to add (it didn’t fit) that there aren’t any rules to this. There isn’t an allotted period of time or a certain way in which you must act and my tips (as featured in the list above) aren’t explicit instructions for you to follow, just merely a guide of how I try to help myself.
If you have any tips or suggestions please feel free to post them below (it would be appreciated actually!)