5 TOOLS FOR BEING WITH SOMEONE IN GRIEF DURING THE HOLIDAYS.
BE THE PERSON WHO SENDS HOLIDAY CARDS.
I've been thinking a lot about how hard it can be to sit with someone in grief. We never know what to say, and often worry about saying the wrong thing. Here are five useful tools from my experience in working with the bereaved:
1. You can't fix this, nor is it your responsibility to do so. . .
GET OUT OF BED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? IT'S NORMAL
I said to one of my besties Andrea today, I want to be the woman that still sends cards. In my old life, before the gilded age of the internet and social media, I would take one night in December crank the holiday music, put down my paint brushes, and put my artsy behind on the floor with some spiked eggnog, and wrap and write till my fingers hurt. It was a ritual. One I've forgotten. One that said, "I love you so much that I will hand draw hearts and reindeer on the outside of this brown paper package with this $5-all-I-can-afford gift just for you"
HOW TO MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE FROM CACAO BEANS
Do you get out of bed in the middle of the night? It turns out you might be more in tune with your natural rhythms then you think. Second sleep, also called segmented sleep, or bimodal sleep, is a biphasic sleep pattern that views middle of the night waking as a productive time to talk with bed fellows, pursue creative endeavors, or meditate. This window is approximately one hour, and research shows that the pituitary gland produces high levels of the hormone prolactin during this time.
Oh baby, baby - Cacao is a mood enhancer and may help combat depression. It contains the bliss molecule anandamide which creates euphoria, as well as phenethylamine which triggers endorphins and opium-like neurochemicals that decrease pain and stress. It is phenethylamine which naturally releases when we fall in love and during sex, which totally explains chocolate on Valentine's day (it doesn't explain chocolate Easter bunnies though - you're on your own with that one).