Creating New Year's Resolutions After a Loss

undefinedFollowing a loss, whether that be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, it can easily feel as though your life and your sense of stability is out of your hands. The grieving process is one that should be acknowledged and respected—it’s important to give yourself the time you need to come to terms with the situation and mourn your loss, whether that be of a person or a marriage. There comes a time, however, when it’s healthy to take a step forward, and begin the process of reinventing and relearning who you are, or who you would like to be, after such a trial.

The new year can often serve as a great starting point for creating goals and healthy habits that can help facilitate healing after a loss. Below are a few New Year’s Resolutions to consider integrating into your life after experiencing a sudden loss or tragedy:

Commit to a Hobby

People often think of this sort of resolution as a means of accomplishing a skill they’ve always wanted to tackle. While it certainly can be that, another way of thinking of a hobby is committing to doing something that provides a break from certain stressors. In this way, the hobby serves as a source of healing, rather than a source of pressure. Perhaps amidst your loss, you feel torn in a million directions with no time to breath—find a hobby that serves as an excuse to have alone time. Alternatively, perhaps you feel alone and lost during this time—commit to a hobby that brings you together with people. Whatever your hobby is, commit to something that genuinely serves as an outlet and an escape—along the way, you’ll likely find a sense of fulfillment and productivity.

Commit to Travel

Traveling and experiencing new things has a way of offering different perspectives that we may not have realized could be so healing. Commit to integrating travel into your life—whether it be going to a new part of town or a new restaurant on the weekends, or traveling out of town completely. Perhaps commit one weekend a month to visiting a place you’ve never been to before. When we get out of our physical comfort zone and day-to-day routine, inspiration can often follow close behind. Traveling can bring forth a perspective change that has a way of making a person feel newly realized and impacted—whether it be via a beautiful view, a different culture, or the stranger you make a unique connection with.

Commit to Community

When going through a loss, it’s important to have a group of people in your life who you can trust and lean on in difficult times. Immediately after a loss, people in your life will likely gather around you to offer support, but after a few months you may feel like your friends or family are moving along with their lives, while you still feel stuck in a dark place. For this reason, prioritizing time with people who bring you joy or comfort is a great resolution. Commit to grabbing breakfast with a family member or a friend one day a week. Commit to going to a local group or activity that would place you amongst people you enjoy. When you commit to building a community, you’ll likely find that support from others, even if you may not feel like you want it in the moment, will help the valleys of grief feel a little more bearable.

If you’ve recently gone through a loss, it can feel overwhelming getting back on your feet and taking steps forward. Allow the New Year to serve as a kick-starter to creating resolutions that will bring healing into your life, and remember that your better and brighter tomorrow begins with the decisions and actions of today.