Everybody's Grieving for the Weekend

What's Your Grief Podcast / What's Your Grief Podcast : Litsa Williams

For further articles on these topics:

The What's Your Grief Podcast: grief support for those who like to listen.

In this grief podcast, Eleanor Haley, MS and Litsa Williams, MA, LCSW-C, the mental health professionals behind the website and book 'What's Your Grief', leave no stone unturned in demystifying the complicated and messy world of living life after loss. One digestible topic at a time, Haley and Williams distill topics ranging from grief theory to coping. Grief is sad and confusing, but your grief support doesn't have to be. You can listen here by using the player above or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Below we have provided a transcript of the episode.

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the What's Your Grief Community Podcast. My name is Eleanor and I'm joined by Litsa. How's it going Litsa on this lovely Thursday afternoon, early afternoon?

You know, I've had a rough start to the day. It hasn't been smooth sailing this morning. Yeah. It just hasn't been a smooth sailing, but that's okay. I'm, maybe this will be a breaking point in the day and everything after this will be an improvement.

Yeah. It's kind of like that pivotal moment where you say to yourself, Am I just going to consider this day a wash and allow it to just be a disaster throughout, or am I going to be able to regroup and get it together? Because I know you have a lot to do today, so.

I'm gonna hope for a regroup and get it together. That's what I'm keeping my fingers crossed for.

We'll see. Let's go with that. Let's assume that's going to be the case. So, it's Thursday we're posting this  to the podcast feed on Friday, and we are headed into Labor Day weekend, which for many people is a  long weekend. Not for everybody, but I know a lot of people have Monday off. So, we thought we would  talk about something that's been coming up a lot in our community. Where we have kind of a virtual  grief community space. And a topic that's been coming up a bit in some of our conversations, and  especially heading into this three-day weekend, is just how hard the weekends can be for people. I mean, I guess in general that can be true, but especially after experiencing a loss.

Yeah. I think that this is something that people don't necessarily expect until they're confronting it and they realize all of a sudden, it's, you know, the weekend, what the weekend represents is just like open time, fast open time for people sometimes. And the structure of the week is often, if you have a job and, you know, you work  a regular weekday hours, that (that) is a little bit of distraction, a little bit of motivation to get out of bed in the morning, a little bit of social interaction with people, you know. I think people are getting all of those different things during the week in some way. And then the weekend hits and all of that falls away. Like, there's no built-in reason to get out of bed, there's no built-in social interaction through co-workers, there's, or you know, whoever you interact with at  work, there's no set structure to the weekend and it can feel like a lot. It can just feel really overwhelming and (and) sad also. Because all, oftentimes it's a reminder that your loved one, maybe you used to spend the weekend with them and they're not here anymore. So I think there's just a lot that goes with it.

Yeah. Sure. And like you said, we're using the words the weekend but you can insert any period of time that feels hard for you. I could personally, I sometimes, especially over the summer, would feel this in the  afternoon to evening period of time. Because we would have some structure during the day, but then when it got to be about afternoon time, everyone was home, I have a little one and so a lot of the times just spent like sitting. If we didn't have anything to do, and it would really, I would just buy myself on my phone and then I would feel bad about that because actually, you know what, scrolling social media makes me feel worse than better. So, I can definitely relate to people who say, it's not the weekend for me. It's actually, like, every day between the hours of 4 to 10 or, you know what, I work weekends so it's Monday and Tuesday for me. So, insert any period of time that seems to feel hard for you personally.

Yeah. I think (it, it), yeah, it's very different from person to person, but it does seem, like, in the community, it's certainly a theme that has come up, is people feeling this way and I, you know, I think we do have, you know, no magical fixes for this. But I think, both of us had some thoughts about some ideas, or strategies, or just different approaches that might be helpful to consider as if (if) any period of time, weekend or otherwise, with these long stretches feels hard for you.

Yeah. So, I guess we should first talk about why we've been hearing it's hard for people, or why, you know, we've experienced this ourselves. And you already mentioned the first reason many people find it hard is because they maybe used to have the weekend with their loved one, if perhaps they were working Monday through Friday, or maybe, you know, that weekend was when they spent time with their spouse or partner. Perhaps it's that weekends was when they visited with certain family members. So, the weekend may represent a time that was spent with the person who died that is now wide open and just a big hole that's a reminder of that, plus there's not a lot to fill it with. And it may not necessarily even be that you're grieving someone who died, and that's why. It might just be that you are feeling kind of separated, distant, estranged from family and friends who you would have typically spent time with over the weekends, and so now, that's just a reminder of how you feel like, Oh, you know what, I used to have all these connections and now I don't feel that I have those connections, and there's a sense of loss there for me.

Yeah, absolutely. Or I feel like, I, you know, maybe you do get invitations to do something, or people are still reaching out, but you're just not up for it, and you don't want to do it. And so then, there can be this like mixed really ambivalence of Well, I'm struggling to get through the weekend, and it doesn't feel good. And I'm feeling, maybe, lonely or isolated. Or like, I don't have things to do, or I don't have motivation. But also, I don't really want to do or have motivation to do some of the things that I theoretically have an opportunity to do. 


So, I think that can be a really confusing conflict that can come up for people.

Yeah, for sure. I was just saying this, something about this to you recently, where I feel like the weekends is a time when I feel, like, I should be doing a lot of things that I'm not doing, and then that makes me  feel worse. So, I feel like, Oh it's Friday night, I should have plans, but I don't have plans. But I don't even really want plans, but I should want  plans, right? So, I have this sense of, like, I should be doing something that I'm not doing and that makes me feel bad. Or, it's that, you know, Monday through Friday, I have all these things to do. That's all my structured time for things like work and other activities. But then, the weekend comes and that's when I should be cleaning the house, or I should be taking on a project outside in the yard, or some (some) other project that I've been putting off, and I actually don't want to do that project for whatever reason. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I don't feel, like, I have the emotional bandwidth for it. When we talk about people who are grieving, if they have these big things that they have to do these projects hanging over their head, people don't, people talk all the time about  the side of grief that's all about dealing with emotions. They don't talk always about all the practicalities that come along with grieving. And sometimes, it's a matter of having to go through a loved one's belongings or take on a household project that you used to have help with, a home repair for example, maybe it's yard work that you don't have assistance with. So, maybe  it's something that feels really big for a, for reasons that it's just hard logistically, but also maybe it's a really emotional task that you're having to take on and you're feeling guilty that you're not doing it, you're feeling bad about yourself that you're not able to "get it together and do it", but at the same time you don't want to do it.

Yeah. And I think that that finding that balance of saying Okay, I want to  push myself, but also I don't want to beat myself up, if I don't manage something. Like, it's a hard line to just straddle, right. Like, we don't want to give ourselves so much permission that we just say Okay, if I don't want to do it, I never push myself to do it, and that's okay. And on the other hand, we don't want to like push ourselves so hard, or never listen to our, you know, really tap into the part of us that is saying, I just don't have the energy for this I need to use the weekend to really kind of just replenish my energy, and to, like, take it easy, or to sit with my grief, or you know, to do that, like, we (we) oftentimes, I think, struggle to walk that line in between those two things. And  there's not always an easy way to be able to tell,  Am I pushing myself too hard, not hard enough? Am I giving myself enough space? Am I giving myself too much space for my grief? Like, where am I with that? It's tricky when it comes to these stretches of time.

Yeah. For sure. And I think, especially if you're somebody who looks at the weekend as just a stretch of empty time and it's the lack of distraction that overwhelms you. You may be somebody who's prone to try and booking, book it up as much as you can, so busy it up, and, so that you have those distractions and you have that  structure. But I think something that, what you said made me think of, Litsa, is just that sometimes, we do need to pay attention to our bodies, and our minds and our emotional state, and acknowledge when we don't, when we need to stop, right. When we need to stop and take a break. We were just talking about this actually on the community with somebody who said, I was trying to do things. I was trying to be productive this weekend. But I realized, like, I just kept getting emotional. I just kept bumping up against my grief, and I need it. I realize, I just needed to stop. And like, let it (it) happen, right. Let it wash over me. And so we always say, like, if you're just finding that you're having that really griefy day, let it happen if you can. Now I know sometimes, you, (it's) it's not possible to opt out of your chores, or your tasks, or your to-do's, your appointments, but if you can, just let it happen. And say to myself, say to yourself, You know what, I'm going to take a break. I'm going to give myself permission to sit on this couch and watch sappy movies all day, because that's the mode I'm in. That is also productive and good to do. I think, like, sort of what you were saying, we need to be careful that it, we are not letting it happen every weekend. And we need to try and reconnect with the things that we want to do, and need to do. But if we're having a weekend, where we realize, I'm (I'm) not feeling great emotionally or physically, it is okay to say to yourself, All right, let it happen, just take that break.

Yeah. And that, I think, is sometimes our (our), like, productivity self-talk around, you know, around being able once we've planned something, to let go of the plan, can be hard. Like, it can be, like once, for some people, once they have that plan if they don't follow through with the plan it feels like failure in some way. And being able to say no, actually being responsive to myself, and listening to myself, and listening to my grief, and being able to walk away from something that's not going to be the best thing for me this weekend, that's not a failure. That's actually a really big success, in terms of living after loss and navigating the fact that there's always going to be this push and pull that we have to be attuned to.

Yeah. So, that's the one side of the coin where you have stuff, right, that you feel like you maybe not want to do, or not able to do, or not prepared to do. And then I think the other end of the spectrum, which we already somewhat touched on but we really want to emphasize, is that feeling that you have days of open time. And you're not really sure how to fill it. And when you stop, and it's silent and you're alone with your thoughts, things start to feel a range of things, that don't always feel great. It may be that you, all of a sudden feel, like, really overwhelmed by your grief, and maybe that you all of a sudden feel, or not even necessarily all of a sudden, but it's really highlighted for you how lonely you're feeling. You might just be feeling really bored. So there's a whole range of things that people can feel when they're heading into a vast expanse of time, where they don't have any structure or (or) anything on that calendar.

And I think, that's when (when) setting yourself structure with flexibility can be helpful, right. Like, if you're somebody where you've realized, Wow, I wake up on Saturday morning, I've put off thinking about the weekend because I've come to dread the weekends and now the weekend is here and I really have no idea what I'm about to do with the next 48 hours, that can feel really daunting. That can be like, Let me just pull the covers up over my head and go back to sleep for four more hours so that I don't have to face (face) the day and the time. And so through structure, with flexibility, can be really useful even if it's structuring in things that you wouldn't normally structure. If you have like, Oh, okay, I know, I, you know, want to start this book this weekend. Or you know, there's something I want to watch, or something I want to do, some things that we wouldn't normally think about like putting on a calendar. For some people, it can be really useful to just kind of block out sometime in the weekend and say, Oh okay, this couple hours in the afternoon, I'm gonna, you know, make myself some tea and sit outside with a book, or what, you know. Whatever it is, to be able to at least look at the weekend and see some markers through the weekend that give, you know, not a fully hour by hour play-by-play, but some things that give you some structure and things to look forward to through the weekend.


Sometimes at home, and then sometimes, hopefully, it may be pushing yourself to get out if it feels like that would be helpful, and would (would) break up the weekend, and be something that could maybe  allow you to connect with something outside of your own house and head.

Yeah. And I think one of the reason grieving people are so vulnerable to feeling isolated and sort of disconnected is, is because that's what life after loss often does to people, is it makes them feel like they can't really connect with the activities that they use to connect with in the same way. It might make them feel really cut off and isolated from their  support system, like we already talked about. It might be that the person you would have spent time with has died, and so that is really emotional and difficult and hard to adjust too. And so one thing we have to acknowledge is that, there's, often just this sense of, I don't even know what to do. So it might be, like you said, like maybe, there's a book you want to read. But it might be just that you have to connect with things that you  don't really want to do, but you want to want-to-do. So, it might mean finding things, and inventing things, or trying new things, or forcing yourself to do things you used to like, in hopes that maybe it'll start to feel different over time, or better again over time. Does that make sense?

Oh, it  makes complete sense. And I think, sometimes one of the the traps we can get in is, Okay, if we pulled back and we've disconnected from people a little bit, you know, we've, again, this just came up in the  community this idea of, like, you kind of cocoon a little bit in early grief, and you might, if some people do, and it kind of cut off social contact, and reaching back out feels hard and can feel, like, pressure to make plans or to do whatever. But also I think this is especially common if it's your partner who died, you just might not be used to doing things alone. For some people that's a big leap. And it's funny, like, I'm somebody who loves doing stuff alone. And so, it's not (it's not) something I personally relate to, but it's something I know so many people, like the idea, my (my) happy place is going to the movies by myself in the middle of the day, like I love nothing more than doing that. And I know that there are other people who like the idea of going to the movies alone, like, they can't even imagine doing it.  It's just really, it's really different, person to person. But sometimes, when you face the weekend you go, Okay, if I'm gonna get out and do something, I might need to push one of those areas of discomfort, right. I might need to either think about how I'm going to reach out to somebody who maybe it's somebody I haven't talked to for a  while. Or maybe it's just, I'm, you know, not always great at making plans for myself but I need to reach out to a friend and just say Hey, I'm feeling kind of down about the weekend. Can we just, like, go for a walk or grab coffee or just do something, you know, so that I have something. Or it's saying,  maybe I need to push myself a little bit in this getting comfortable doing stuff alone. In a way, that can feel really hard, especially if you've had a partner for many years that you've always done a lot with and that has been a big part of your day-to-day. It can be a big step to go what does it feel like to, you know, just go and have a meal by yourself. Or go in, you know, go to a movie by yourself, or go to a concert by yourself. But start thinking about Is that one something I want to dip my toe in the water of just to see how it feels, in order to see what that can mean for my weekend.

Yeah. I, I'm also somebody who likes doing things by myself, so I don't know. We might be really biased in the, in this sense. And I do realize that for some people it (it) is not something they feel up to doing baseline. But then if it just reminds them of a person they've (they've) lost, it might  make it even harder. But we do encourage people to try. I was just having this conversation with my kids, who are adolescents. And so they're like Oh no. I would never have a meal alone. And I'm like, You should try, it's really great.  It's actually, like, very peaceful and calming. Yeah. So I think, trying and seeing, you never know you might actually be somebody who doesn't hate it. You, and you might try it in a way that feels more like, Oh, I'm going somewhere where I can be a little more unnoticeable or anonymous, like a dark movie theater, right. Or a coffee house where it's totally normal, to like sit on a laptop and work by yourself or something like that. So, thinking about your comfort level and what makes sense for you. And I think that this, one thing that I think would be useful to talk about is, just how to (how to) think about the things that you want to   do and how to, like, find the types of activities. And one place to always start is to think about things that you used to do that you've fallen out of habit with, that you want to try to do again. And you may find that you can pick right back up, and it feels pretty much okay. And (and) that's great, so you take that along with you. You may find that it will never feel the same. You will never be able to do it exactly in the way that you used to do it, but there are pieces of it that you can keep with you. So you can, maybe, change it a little bit and still connect in a different way with that activity, you know. Maybe (maybe) you haven't gone to your, like, you had a lot of community at church and you used to sing in the choir with your loved one, maybe you're not really thinking you can go back to the choir just yet, but you could start by you know going in maybe last minute before the service starts and sitting in the back pew, just (just) to start just to get comfortable. So it might be a matter of adapting those things so they fit your comfort level, and (and) you take things step by step, you know. And work towards where you want to get. It may never look like how it was in the past. It probably won't look exactly how it was in the past because you've changed and your life has changed. But you can take steps towards making it feel (feel) right for you. Like, we always say, Coping with grief is like a lot of small steps taken, like, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. And this is just one example of that. Getting back into some of the different things that you might want to get back into. And then the last thing, I (I) feel I need to say about old activities is that, you might find that they're never right for you. And it is okay to evolve beyond these things. And acknowledge that there's a sense of loss there. So there's going to be a sense of secondary loss when you can't find that joy in something you use to find joy with. Or you can't find that connection, and now you've lost that. It now feels like one more thing that (that) is gone. And I think  that there's a reason to stop and grieve that secondary loss. Don't shut the door on it completely. You might find in a year or two it feels different. Like, maybe next year you would want to sing in the choir, you know, maybe two years  from now. Maybe it's, you end up at a different church where you feel like you can (you can) do it  without having all those memories and emotion. But for the time being, it may be that that there's a sense of loss there that is worthy of acknowledging and (and) grieving.

Yeah. I think that's very very true. And I think, you know, really cutting yourself some slack to say, like, I can push myself and I can push myself to get back into something and you know go back to something. And then also I can give myself a break if I say this really isn't working right now. But not letting that go then to just, all right, I'm gonna hold back up at home again if my weekends are feeling dark and lonely, but saying, you know, if this isn't working, what am I going to try to replace this with next weekend. So, I still at least find something new and creative. And you know, I think looking online and finding ideas being creative about what's happening in your community, you know, it might have been in the past that there was just always these built-in things that you were maybe doing with your partner or that were part of your routine that you always did. If those things are feeling, like, they're not acceptable because they feel so emotional or they're just you're not connected with them, then going, all right maybe something just kind of new and different outside of my comfort zone, maybe that actually would be sort of a (a) nice kind of neutral thing to do. It doesn't have the associations. It doesn't have the memories. I'm not comparing myself to who I used to be when I'm there, you know. It's a new thing. And sometimes, that opportunity, it also carries less pressure, right. Like, if I look up and I see that there's just some sort of, you know, random Arts Festival that I'm gonna go and check out in my city or my neighborhood, you know, that is this weekend. I might feel no pressure, like, if I go and I only spend 15 minutes there. That's  still that I, like, got out of my house went and did something, did more than I did last weekend. Maybe tried something new which maybe I have a sense of feeling of accomplishment around. And there was no pressure because I'm not comparing it to the past or I'm not thinking about, you know, my loved one particularly. So sometimes it's pushing into those new places and possibilities. 

Yeah. And when we talk about, because we always, it's hard to strike a balance sometimes, right. Because  we want to nudge people to try to do things, to (to) plan ahead for things. We even say go as far as, say schedule it not so that you feel like this regimented thing but so that you have that like structure which adds a layer of accountability, which is why we would say that. But we're also really quick to say, but give yourself a break, you know, like pay attention to yourself, go easy on yourself, don't be mad at yourself if it doesn't work out. So it can be really hard because we always want to strike that balance. So, in able, in order to strike that balance, one of the things we often say is, if you can just, to keep it simple and start small with a lot of these things, so it might be that you choose like two or three small things to just ,you know, sprinkle into your, to your weekend at certain times. Or if you do have a bigger project that you're feeling like, Oh my gosh, I don't know where to start. Schedule one or two small parts of that. So like what, break it down into steps and what's the one or two steps I'm gonna take on this Saturday.

Yes. And feel, and then congratulate yourself for doing that, right. Talked about this in the community recently. I (I) finished the book tiny habits and I really really loved how the author of that book emphasizes this idea of like, break stuff down really small and then like celebrate the fact that you did the  really small things. Because that actually in a real neurochemical way, it like motivates us to keep doing new things. Because when we accomplished tasks, whether they're big tasks or small tasks, our brains give us those like little dopamine rewards when we pat ourselves on the back, and that helps us to have motivation to say, Oh wait, it felt really good last week when, you know, I did even if it was a very small thing. I think that felt good. And now I have a little bit more motivation to push myself on something this weekend, that's... 


...the same or a little bit more and kind of building from there.

Yeah. And by keeping it simple, it's more reasonable and feasible for you to (to) actually accomplish it. And if you don't, it's not the end of the world, you haven't been set back drastically, you just didn't accomplish that one or two small steps, and you'll try again next time. So if you're like listening to us and you're struggling you're still like, I'm still drawing a blank and looking at the blank weekend ahead of me   and I am not sure what to do, we will give you one of our favorite pieces of advice. And if you're somebody who has listened to our older podcast episodes recently, though they were recorded about two years ago, I'm sure we've talked about this one to two times. But the framework we often like to use is Positive Psychology and Martin Seligman, who's kind of like the father of positive psychologies framework for well-being, and we call it well-being coping even though it is coping that one could theoretically boost our well-being which is great. But also many of the things that you would choose to boost your well-being could also help you cope with grief. So we like the framework for that reason. We also think it can help you think about things that have made sense for you in the past but also help you to think about things that you haven't tried that you'd like to try. So we'll go through those really quick, does that work Litsa?

That totally works, of course.

Okay. So they're acronym is PERMA. And the first one is Positive Emotion. And so the idea here is to do things that give you a boost of positive emotion. Now if you are grieving, there's always that push and pull between like, But I don't want to feel any positive emotion. Or, I don't feel that positive emotion is in my emotional repertoire right now, I am definitely feeling mostly that more distressing emotion. And when I say positive emotion, it's kind of tricky because we always like to say, Well emotions aren't good or bad, right. But when we say positive emotion, we mean things that give you a boost of something like maybe contentment or joy or peace or calm, right. So, even though you may be really in the acute part of grief, and maybe you are still at that place where laughing or smiling feels impossible or makes you feel a little bit guilty, we really want to give you permission to just have a few moments of (of) feeling that positive okay-ness or calm or joy or whatever. And if there's anything you can think of that can give that to you, maybe it is doing a guided meditation that's what makes you feel that sense of calm, maybe it is that you have a favorite comedian his stand-up always cracks you up you're gonna give that a try on Netflix or on YouTube, and just even if you can get out a few laughs, like, that is one small step towards having more positive emotion. I don't know, are there anything, I'm think, I'm not mentioning so that you would add in?

No, I think, like, if  you have pets playing with your animals. Like, doing stuff that you just like thinking about just anything that gives you kind of feel-good feelings. And again, not making it too huge. And also if you are one of those people who feels like some guilt about the positive emotion stuff, like, it's really normal. Like, in early grief, lots of the research shows that people are actually able to laugh and feel moments of positive emotion. And the way grief  works isn't it's all like sad, sad, sad, sad, sad and then suddenly not sad. Most people, pretty early on, if they open themselves up to it, are able to get a laugh out of their favorite comedian or do something like that. And so, not to beat yourself up for that. Know that, like, grief that's part of (part of) grieving. And so is that we're feeling all sorts of different things at different times. So being open to that. And then the next one, so PERMA, the next letter is E and that's Engagement. And I think, when we think about this, it's the idea of getting something that puts your brain in that perfect state of, like, it challenges you, you enjoy it, but it doesn't challenge you so much that it exhausts you and taps you out. But maybe you kind of lose track of time while you're doing it. You kind of get into a real flow state. And it's able to allow some of the background stuff in your brain to kind of fall away because you're so engrossed in this thing that you're doing. And so, I think that can be all sorts of things for different people. I mean for some people it is, like, certainly exercise in sports can do it, for  some people knitting. There was, you know, there's actually been research about how like knitting can get people into that place in their brains, you know. Cooking, gardening, like different things that kind of really engage you in different ways. And sometimes if it does a little bit of kind of a combination of physical and mental that can be really good too, but not always, you know. It just depends. So thinking about things that might give you that engagement.

Yeah, for sure. I know  one (one) for me is sitting down to play the piano. I'm not that good at it but for me when I do it and I choose the right type of sheet music, the time can kind of just melt away. And I'm  really focused with the activity, so for some people it might be things like that. It could be doing a jigsaw puzzle. And so there's, like, some of these things to you might feel like, Wait a minute, I (I) have a like list of things I have to do and you want me to go like play the piano for an hour, do a jigsaw puzzle, and actually, yes. We do, I want you to do that. Because these feel like they might be wasting time but they're actually really really good for you to have these breaks. And that's (that's) the other thing I guess we didn't mention about some of this type of of coping and these types of activities is that they do give your brain a break. Engagement especially. And so, one of the things that we always talk about that's really important is just giving yourself a break from your grief from time to time. Because, you know what, like, grief is a lot life after loss has is a lot stressful, all that, and so it's really important to give yourself a break. The next one is Relationships. So anything that could help you to feel maybe more connected in terms of connecting with other people, in relationships. It might be friends and family, and maybe connecting with new people. It may be connecting with people you don't even know online, right. It might be walking around your neighborhood and saying Hi, how are you, the weather's lovely today. But if you're really feeling isolated, this could be a good one to really push yourself towards connecting with.

Yeah. And the next one with this is Meaning. And I think relationships and meaning sometimes can go together, depending on how you define Meaning. Sometimes meaning is really the big stuff. It's spirituality and religion, and that might be a big source of meaning for you. But really, meaning can be anything bigger than yourself. And that can be your connection to family or other people that feels incredibly meaningful. It can be your connection in nature, just if you're somebody where you just have that feeling when you're out in nature, of just the wonder of nature and feeling connected to the Earth. It might be, you know, volunteering and service stuff, tiny volunteering or big volunteering that you know helps you to feel connected. Just looking for anything small that can help with that connection to meaning, and not putting too much pressure on yourself for it to be big and grand. I know meaning can   sound like a very big and grand word, but just something I think that helps you feel connected to something bigger than yourself can help.

And what you, you mentioned that relationships and meaning are often connected and I (I) want to add one that I think connects to both as well. And that is things that help you to connect with your loved one who died. So anything that helps to continue your bond with that person, it may give you an immense sense of meaning and purpose to be able to maybe see their legacy continue in this world, or to do the things that they would have wanted to do, and to continue your bond in your relationship with your loved one in any way that feels right. There are so many different ways that people stay connected with people who've died, so I would definitely add that in here as (as) one that (that) would fall under these headings. And also of course, help to cope with grief as well. And then the last one for PERMA is Accomplishment. And we're always really careful to say that like, accomplishment can be like really big things like Oh, I wanted to take this class on this really important topic. And I've taken it and I've finished it after many hours and that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Or, you know what I just graduated that gives me a sense of accomplishmentI ran a 5k that gives me a sense of accomplishment. But we also mean really really teeny tiny small things, especially in grief.  Like we are, like Litsa already mentioned giving yourself credit for the things that you do to cope with grief, or the steps you take that are difficult, that counts as accomplishment in our eyes. So taking a minute to, say like, you know what I (I) did start that project. It's going to take me a month to finish but I started it. And that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Or you know what, I did push myself. I didn't want to go get coffee with (with) my old friend. I would have been so much easier to stay at home, but I did it. And now I feel like I've (I've) stuck with the plan and that gives me a sense of accomplishment. So it can be small things and it can be really really big things. So that's PERMA.

So, we hope that that just gives you all some ideas to go on for the weekend, and a place to start and a framework. It's a framework we think is really useful. If you feel like, you know, one thing that we are offering is this community. So we are doing different events and different things weekdays and weekends, so we'll put the link in the notes for information about our community if you're looking for that. And we'll also include, because we want to keep plugging it even if it's a little annoying, our book is coming out in a few weeks and it's available for pre-order. So if you are interested in our book, please check out the link in the notes.

Yep. And you can always email us at whatsyourgrief@gmail.com, and we are on social media at What's Your Grief. If you want a little layer of accountability and a little challenge, pick three of those things that fall under PERMA, if you can't remember and don't want to go back and re-listen to that section of the podcast you can always Google it. PERMA, P-E-R-M-A. It's from positive psychology. Pick a couple of things, and (and) plan it, and you know what, it's not gonna (it's not gonna) make the weekend amazing necessarily, but hopefully it makes it that much easier to navigate. So we will be back next week. And thank you for hanging with us for today's discussion.

We wrote a book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
real-life book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

Leave a Comment

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.