Our world changes so much after we lose a loved one that our lives need to change too whether we want them to or not. Change is naturally difficult for most people and is like going through growing pains. But the end result of these changes is often serving us far better. Make sure to honor all your feelings but be willing to change anyway!
This change happens during all the transitions in our lives. At this point your daily routine has probably fallen apart, your family dynamic is different and your friendships have shifted. You may feel that there is a distance between you and some of your family members and friends. You may feel like you are not just losing your loved one but also losing your whole life as you know it. Does this sound familiar?
In today’s goodwill post, I will share with you some ways that I have helped my students reorganize their support system and social circles after losing a loved one. By following this guideline, you can get back on your feet much faster!
Step 1: What are some of the things you loved doing as a child? What has brought you joy in the past?
For example, after my late husband passed away, I started reading intensively again. I also used to love writing and I started writing a lot again too. I even wrote a book after I lost my husband.
List 10 things, no matter how silly they may seem, that have made your heart sing in the past.
Step 2: Other than continuing to do the things that you previously loved, what new things are you willing to try?
Write down some new things that you are willing to explore. If you have a bucket list, find some things to try from that list. Keep in mind that these new things or changes don’t have to be big. For example, I put away my GPS once on a while when I am driving in order to get lost in an unfamiliar place just for the fun of it. I wanted to be healthy so I started to eat healthy foods and workout at least once a week. I have always wanted to go see Paris, so I took the risk and did a solo international trip after my late husband died. I always wanted to own my own business so I quit my full-time teaching job and became an entrepreneur.
List 10 things, no matter how big or small they are, that you are willing to explore.
Step 3: Reorganize your support system and develop new social circles.
#1: Make a list of all your family and friends. Are some of them activity friends/partners who you can do things together with but not really share your personal feelings with? Or are they your personal friends/relatives who will be there for you if you need help? Put an A next all your activity friends/family and a P next to all your personal friends/family.
#2: Assign all of the family and friends on your list to the different activities on your lists that you created earlier. Some things may just be things you do by yourself, other things may be things you do with a few people and there may still be some other things you may not be sure if any of your existing friends and family are a good fit for. Leave these things blank if you can’t find anyone to do them with and they aren’t something you would do on your own. This will simply mean that you will need a whole new group of friends for your new lifestyle. We will figure this out in the next step.
#3: Develop new social circles. Go back to all of the blanks on your list and do some brainstorming. What groups can you join to try the new things on your list with? Are these groups online or are they local? Do you need to sign up for any kind of class or training? Do you need to join any clubs or organizations? For example, I wanted to pursue my old passion of public speaking again after I lost my late husband so I signed up for Jack Canfield’s Train the Trainer program. In this program, I had 70+ totally new classmates. Now after we have graduated, some of these classmates have faded away, some of them became occasional business partners while others became part of a very tight business support system, and others still became personal friends that I can share whatever is going on in my life with. So come up with at least one way that you can develop a new social circle for your new lifestyle.
Step 4: Put it on your calendar.
One thing I know about myself is that I will not follow through or make it happen if I don’t put it on my calendar. That is also the reason why so many people have dreams but they never see those dreams come true. We need to plug our dreams into our daily actions to slowly make them happen. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do all 20 things right away. You can pick just one thing to try each month if that feels right for you. Soon, you will feel more connected to others, your life and more confident to explore changes!
What are some of the things that made it on to your list?
If you would like to suffer less and heal faster from your grief, sign up to gain access to my FREE 6-part video series here: https://gracefullygrieving.com/general-opt-in
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!