Every year, you’ve most likely seen the new year, new me posts. Or, maybe a family member or friend has said how they will make the new year a better one. But what does a new year look like for someone who has lost an important piece of them? And is it truly possible to have a new beginning when you’re grieving or missing your significant other?
Remember That Your Journey Is Yours
No matter what is going on around you, your journey is yours and yours alone. Grief and emotions are different for everyone, including other widows. Your thoughts and feelings are important to you, as they should be. You don’t have to set goals or resolutions that some people do, like losing weight or learning a new language, unless you want to.
Instead, you can decide that a new year and new beginnings means talking about your loss. Or finding a community of women who understand what you’re going through. Or even, taking time to grieve and allow your emotions to take over for once.
Be Gentle with Yourself
People, especially women, are so quick to take care of everyone else and offer them compassion and understanding during a hard time. However, when it comes to taking care of ourselves, we are harsh and judgmental.
Maybe you don’t think it’s okay to feel happiness. Maybe you believe nothing will ever be the same, which is true, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t feel a sense of normalcy. Or maybe you beat yourself up mentally when you cry or have a grief attack. But it’s okay to be gentle with yourself.
It’s okay to cry, or to feel a big wave of emotions during different times of the day. Doing these things and having these emotions doesn’t make you less of a person or unstable. In fact, they are healthy and normal responses to grief. And it’s okay to allow yourself to do them, no matter how often.
Do What You Enjoy
There is nothing wrong with finding comfort in the things you once enjoyed, or new hobbies or tasks that bring you joy now. If anything, these things are more important. Not only can these tasks help you clear your head, but they can also boost your mood and allow you the opportunity to feel closer to yourself, and your loved one.
With new beginnings comes the opportunity to also find new activities. For example, if you’ve ever wanted to go to a certain place, or try something new, now could be the perfect time to do it.
It can get you out of your comfort zone, help you find a new activity, place, or hobby you love, and give you some happiness, all of which can make a difference in your mood and happiness. New beginnings don’t have to mean forgetting everything from the past or letting go of everything that makes you sad. It could simply mean giving you the opportunity to find something else that brings a smile across your face.
Danielle is a Medicare insurance expert and National Social Security Certificate Holder, who writes regularly for and is cited by many online publications, including Forbes, where she is a member of the Finance Council. A TCU journalism graduate and former magazine editor, she enjoys sharing her knowledge about Medicare, retirement, and insurance so that baby boomers can prepare for the costs of healthcare in retirement. She regularly appears as a guest expert on healthcare podcasts and radio shows.