We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa
When we think about the grief process, we all have different things to come immediately to mind. Sadness and tears, rage, loneliness, confusion – just to name a quick few.
Utter exhaustion and overwhelming weariness.
For me, grief can seem like a giant invisible vacuum that sucks all the energy out of me and leaves me feeling bone deep weary and exhausted. I’ve made tons of changes in my life this past year – and I am now running head-on into that feeling of weariness.
I think this weariness hits most people who experience grief. And I think that it can be hard to see sometimes with all our busyness and go-go-go (you know, our avoidance). I have been especially talented at hiding my weariness and my grief – even from myself oftentimes! Tonight, as the weariness of all the little griefs that have mixed in the all the amazing joys of 2008, I have decided to try another tactic.
I also get so very tired running away from what I am feeling and experiencing in my body. So, I’m inviting my weariness and grief to grab a chair right next to me and say hello. I am going to wine and dine them and treat them oh so well. Perhaps you’d like to try the same – what could it hurt?
Here a few ideas how:
Eat light, healthy foods
Changes are, if you are weary and exhausted, you are grabbing what ever is easy and comforting food-wise – which likely means nothing overly healthy.
My choice tonight? Pomegranate seeds, blueberries, mango chunks, and whole grain crackers. Yum yum. Veggies and fruits are great – light, healthy, whole and nutritious foods, something we usually don’t get enough of in general and even less of when we are experiencing grief.
Light, healthy food is easier on your body – it doesn’t have to work so hard. Your body is tired enough, it needs a break.
Take a quiet, relaxing walk
Skip the power walk. This isn’t about exercising – our bodies are already worn out. This is just a quiet, easy, peaceful walk – preferably somewhere in nature but around the neighborhood or the road is good too.
This peace is about resting our minds. Walk slowly and mindfully. Notice, really notice, your surrounding. Breathe deeply and slowly release. Pay attention to how the air feels on your skin and how your feet hit the ground.
(Note: it is December, so this might not work as well in certain places – like say, Minnesota (where I grew up) where it is currently about -30 degrees Fahrenheit below with the windchill.)
This helps quiet our restless, busy, and weary minds. It’s like hitting reset on one of those endless forms of electronic equipment.
Pamper your body
One of my favorite ways to pamper my body is a hot bubble bath or shower with lots of candles all around and the lights off. I like when the room gets all steamy and my fingers get all wrinkled and my eyelids feel like they weigh 20 pounds each. It’s that deep relaxation that makes my bones and muscles feel like pudding.
My ALL TIME favorite way, though, is to nap! I adore naps. I like them on the couch or in my bed. I’ll even take them in big, oversized chairs. I like 20 minute naps and 2 hour naps. I even like the ones that last 8 hours (or is that just called sleep?). Naps are awesome – and because grief can interrupt our sleep quite a bit, naps are not just a treat, they are a necessity.
There are also facials, pedicures, massages – I prefer things that get me off my feet and require next to no movement.
Snuggle with your pet
Something soft and furry works best here – but, hey, some like petting snakes and lizards and turtles! Whatever works for you…
My cat, Sophie, is one of my best stress-relievers and one of my greatest helpers in reminding me to take care of myself. (She takes excellent care of herself – long naps, constant cleaning and beautifying of her body, relaxing stretches, nosing around for some lovin’ cuddles and acting like a young kitten and having fun) She’s always good for making me laugh and giving me some love.
There you go – enjoy your evening wining and dining weariness and grief. Perhaps if you invite them in once in a while and give them some attention, they won’t be quite so insistent on bothering you all the time. Worth a try anyway!