Things Not to Say to People Who are Grieving – #1

Deborah Day M.A. Blog

Grief 3

1.         “I know how you feel.”

 When someone is going through a loss they are often consumed by feelings that are indescribable and overwhelming.  Even if you have experienced the same type of event, such as the death of a parent or the loss of a job, this doesn’t mean that your emotional reactions to the event will be the same.  While a miscarriage for one person may have little impact; for another it may spiral her into a significant period of grief.  And while you may “know how they feel” the one grieving needs to be heard first and foremost.  The grieving person needs your listening ear and comforting shoulder.   This is about them.  Keep the focus on them and off of you.  You can share some of the commonalities you have from your similar experiences at a later time when the grieving person’s feelings aren’t so raw.

To…

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Are You Having A Positive Impact On This World?

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It is getting harder and harder to come up with creative ideas each week for my blog. Would love to hear from you! What do you want to hear more about? What do you want to learn more about? What interests you? I am here to be a blessing to you after all! I appreciate any feedback on potential topics of interest.
This week I have been thinking about the small things; the small things we do that may have a big impact on others. It seems all too easy to minimize who we are; minimize the value we each have. Have you often wondered what you are contributing to this world? Maybe not; maybe you are actively engaged in some sort of ministry like Marianne Williamson or Wayne Dyer. Well, if neither Marianne nor Wayne is reading this (and the countless other who are in the public eye) then sometimes you may wonder if you matter; if you are contributing enough.
I don’t think this is a bad question to ask. It is good to evaluate where your energies are directed and if you are happy with that direction. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget the bigger picture. The ‘whole’ if you will. You are more than just your daily routine. However, in that daily routine you can contribute much in ways you may not imagine as significant. Often it is the small things that may matter most.
Maybe it’s giving the person in line the few extra cents they needed to pay their bill. Or maybe it is helping someone pick up their mess after they dropped their bag. Maybe it is letting the person who has fewer groceries than you go ahead of you in line. The smile you shared with the woman on the elevator may be just enough to brighten her day. Taking time to make and deliver a welcome pie to your new neighbors. These may all seem too simple however, you never know what kind of day or week that person has had. You may be just the friendly gesture she or he needs to make it another day. Never minimize these small caring acts.
I remember when I was in graduate school (a long time ago) and I was in need of money. Someone anonymously left me $20.00 in an envelope! I still remember it today! I imagine you can think of small things that meant a lot to you. I am not saying that the big gestures aren’t important too, however, today I want to remind you the importance random acts of kindness. I read a quote yesterday that sums it up. It is written by Desmond Tutu and reads “Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put all together that overwhelm the world.” How awesome is that! Post this quote someone where you can read it daily.

Relaxation Is Just As Important As Working! Agree?

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Many of you are busy with numerous responsibilities during the week; the various work demands that most of you experience. Many of you are working well over forty hours a week. Then there are the multiple demands of family, children, household responsibilities and the like. Does it seem like all you do is go, go, go? And sometimes it is easy to get so used to the adrenalin of doing that you can forget how to relax and slow down.
The need for taking time to relax cannot be emphasized enough. According to Random House Webster’s College Dictionary relax can mean “to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.” And, “to become less tense, rigid or firm.” Sound good? Some of you may understand the importance of incorporating a way of relaxing into your life. However I am sure many of you find it too difficult to fit into your busy schedule.
Taking time to relax is the antidote to stress which is known to contribute to disease and general dissatisfaction in life. Relaxing on purpose slows your breathing down which helps relax your body. Your muscles have the opportunity to rest and it is good for your heart. The mental health benefits are ample. Your ability to focus, make decision and even your sleep may improve.
I understand that what is relaxing to each of you may be different. Some enjoy going to the beach, laying out in the sun and reading a book. Others find gardening relaxing. Maybe relaxing for you would be simply taking an hour nap in the middle of the day, or sitting and meditating. Or maybe you would be willing to treat yourself to a massage, facial, pedicure or acupuncture.
Although the demands of all your responsibilities are still lingering, you will be more refreshed, and I believe better equipped to handle the multiple burdens that life has for you. When you allow yourself the gift of relaxation, when you prioritize taking time for even a small amount of relaxation during your day or days off you will greatly benefit.
On your next day off or this weekend, I encourage you to allow yourself to have some genuine down time. Time when your mind is not listing the ten things you need to get done today. Time when you’re not physically moving about doing the many chores that need to get done. Time when you slow down your heart rate, breathing and movement. Time to actually do what is called-relaxing!
I encourage you to remember that you are important, that you matter and to put yourself on your own priority list. If you allow yourself the gift of relaxation this will aid you physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. You are in charge of making relaxation a part of your weekly ritual. Decide you are worth taking time to give your body, mind and spirit a well-deserved rest.