The stress of feeling ‘behind’ on our “to-do” lists leaves many of us overwhelmed and less able to handle new challenges. In this podcast, Margo Rose offers three ways to become more efficient at handling the ongoing pressures in our lives.
During times of stress or loss we can be at increased risk for injuries and setbacks. One goal of Body Aware Grieving is to avoid creating new problems while we learn to recover from any current difficulties. [Read more…]
There are times in life when we are rushing around, busy in our “roles” as employee, caregiver or partner. During magic moments, there can be a complete peace when we are able to express our whole “real” self.
A while ago I hired a professional photographer to take pictures of me for a variety of projects I was working on. The studio lights and costume changes were all new to me and I was excited and nervous. Here is a slide show of images from that day:
I was hoping to do a “good” job and be expressive. Honestly though, the photo shoot was during a sad time in my life as the first memorial for my little sister who had passed away was approaching. My father as well had died just two years before.
As photos were being taken in various poses and outfits, there was one special moment when I sort of slid into a seated position and was overwhelmed by a feeling of connection and love for my father.
That picture, taken when I had a completely open heart, ended up becoming the primary image of me for our Body Aware Grieving website. If you look very closely at the teardrop we use as our logo, there is even a reflection of this photo above the eye.
One day while looking at our website, I noticed the pose I was in and ran to find a photo my father took of me when I was five years old. Always one of my Dad’s favorite pictures, he took this while I played in a sunny cave during a day at the beach. Realizing the similarity, I now keep the two photos next to each other on my wall. It helps me think of the past, present and future all at the same time.
A sense of calm and joy is possible when we are able to balance who we have become so far in life, and who we want to become as we move forward. My hope is that Body Aware Grieving can become a place of healing and celebration for each of us. This post is dedicated to all of us and the people, places, pets and passions that help us feel like our most “real” version of ourselves.
Now, it it your turn…Can you share a picture, painting, song or video that expresses how you feel and what you most care about?
Many best wishes,
Special gratitude to my father Kenneth for being such an inspiration.
The most important aspect of Body Aware Grieving compared with other available services related to grief recovery is our focus on physical health. Even when we may not feel we are being affected by stress, sadness or anger, our bodies display symptoms that let us know we are functioning at less than our full capacity.
We are each so unique and different from one another. There is no reason to try and compare one person’s pain to anyone else. While the word “grief” is most commonly used in reference to a death, any reason we may be disappointed or struggling is equally important.
Common signs that we need to take better care of ourselves include: stomach or digestive issues, back or neck pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, muscle tension especially in the jaw and shoulders, dizziness, inability to concentrate, incessant crying, under or over-eating, overuse of medication, drugs or alcohol, getting colds or the flu repeatedly.
Even years after a romantic breakup you may find it hard to stop thinking about the person you love. Other people become overwhelmed when they observe the natural signs of aging happening to their face, body or ability to function. It is common to struggle with low self-esteem, even depression, after losing a job, business or accumulated amount of money. There are even people who envy those of us who are in mourning and wonder if they are ‘normal’ because they don’t seem to care enough about anyone or anything in their life to feel loss.
Physical signs of stress may be subtle, at least at first, or can become more extreme if we choose to ignore them. One of the most vital moments in healing can occur when we realize that we are having a problem that is not passing on it’s own. Perhaps instead of feeling ‘weak’ when we realize we may need help, it can be exciting to explore, “How can I get through my current situation with the least amount of extra suffering?” THAT is a question that can begin to lead us towards becoming healthier and happier.
The source of why we are upset is not specifically important. Regardless of why our emotional or physical health is being diminished, we just want to find ways to console and care for ourselves as easily as possible. If you or someone you care about is going through a challenging time, please go to the Healing Techniques section in our sidebar for a choice of wellness activities.
Best wishes to you,
photo © Adam Weiss firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately for many of us, the pain of losing somebody we love, or people we have had a mixed relationship with, can be made worse by the presence of regrets. Mourners can be left struggling with thoughts like, “What could I have done differently?” “I wish I had gone to visit him or her more often.” “We were not very close, and now we never will be”.
When grief situations are touched with regret, each mourner must search for a way to find peace within themselves. Obviously events, words and actions that occurred in the past, can not be changed. There are two main options available when dealing with regret, either suffer indefinitely, or find a way to forgive oneself and perhaps make changes about how to behave in the future.
People whom have spoken too often in anger may resolve to become more diplomatic and patient in their communication. Those suffering because a person they cared about died without knowing how much they were loved or respected can choose to become more expressive. If saying intimate things is unfamiliar to you, perhaps writing a letter or even a song or poem may be easier.
If you wish you had visited more often when a loved one was alive, look around at friends and family members still living and reach out more regularly. When physical distance is an issue using emails, phone calls, Facebook or sending cards can still be very satisfying.
Some mourners are able to forgive themselves for past disappointments more easily by writing a letter to the deceased and saying how they feel now. Others can make a financial contribution or volunteer time to an organization that their loved one would have supported.
If you are struggling with regret, it is vital to understand that you can only change your current self and future behavior.
Ready to avoid future regrets in the future? Try this healing technique called: Choose 5 Memories
People who tend to be aggressive or unappreciative with loved ones could benefit from this healing technique designed to reduce accumulated tension: Transition 10
Many of us are so stressed out or overwhelmed by our daily responsibilities that our behavior becomes less skillful. This article about ‘Avoiding Caregiver Burnout‘ may help.
One of the hardest circumstances for grievers to recover from can be losses due to suicide. If you or someone you know has been effected by suicide, please forward them this information about a great organization called: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
As always, please share any comment, suggestions or advice with our other readers in the comments section below.
Best wishes to you,