By the time this goes to print we’re probably all going to be guilty of one thing – breaking our New Year Resolutions!
Whether the sound of that phrase made you groan or smile to yourself, we can’t deny that every time a new year rolls round it brings with it hope…hope that this year will be better than the last, hope that something will be different, hope that things will change. What we often forget is that we’re the hope; it’s you who has the power to make things different and to bring about change!
I’ve come up with a tried and tested method of making resolutions easier; I call it ‘All Year Resolutions’. Every December I write 12 things down on scraps of paper that I want to achieve in the coming year, fold them up and pop them in a cup. Then on the 1st of each month I pull out a resolution. By the time I’ve got to the next month my first resolution has become a habit so it’s not new anymore, and I can add the next resolution as a new one, and so on and so forth for the rest of the year – by the time I get to the end of the year, I’m doing 12 new things. They’re often small things (like being in bed for 10.30pm at least 3 times a week), but others are more important, like making time for old friends once a month.
We understand from many of our clients that the first year after bereavement is tough, and in many cases it is the years that follow that feel harder. It’s often the case that support offered by friends, family and colleagues in the first 12 months drifts away as time goes on, leaving the bereaved to cope alone more and more.
So it is important to plan things for your coming years, whether that year starts in January or not, and do things that help you to find your hope, like making arrangements to spend time with friends, making space to spend time on your own doing something you enjoy, and making time to remember the person you are missing and perhaps do something in their memory.
Maybe you can challenge yourself to do the things you used to do before your bereavement or loss and have been putting off, like going to the supermarket, getting back to the gym, or simply just leaving the house.
Tell the people around you that you are still struggling and that you need their understanding and support, you may discover that they have been thinking about you and wondering how you are coping, but are worried about making you feel worse by bringing everything up, so you telling them honestly how you are feeling will give them the opportunity to support you.
But most of all it is important to remember that it’s OK to feel sad, even years after a bereavement, that the pain you are feeling, as intolerable as it seems, is perfectly natural.
The Dove Service will re-open after the Christmas shutdown on Thursday 2nd January 2020 and you can speak with our Referrals Team on 01782 683155.