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(Try to) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas...

I'm gonna share the pep talk that I've been giving myself since December 1st: You're gonna get through it. You can't wish the holidays off of the calendar; you have to learn how to cope during those times. If not, the holidays will always be a constant source of pain and sadness...and that's no way to live. I've maintained a certain balance over the last few weeks- the house is fully decorated, minus the typical holiday music blasting through the speakers.

That's progress compared to last year. Baby steps. I've managed to take several social media breaks because it's a little rough to see so many posts of people enjoying the holidays with their parents. Even as I try to make my way through this new normal, I still find ways to enjoy this time of year. I encourage you, even in you grief, to be a blessing to someone else during the holiday season.

Pay for someone's meal, compliment a stranger at the store, volunteer at a local shelter- there are so many opportunities to help someone who may even have it worse than you.

This is actually great time to create new holiday traditions!

Remember to be aware of your grief triggers- it's okay to set boundaries for yourself. It's okay to give yourself some space. It's okay to leave early.

It's okay to stay at home. And most importantly, it's okay to cry...and when you're done, be proud that you're still making it. Still healing. Still growing. That's the real gift.

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