light up word joy

How to Have a “Happy” Pandemic Holiday

Well, here we-entering the holidays as well as our 9th month of the pandemic in the USA. 


I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving or at least an easy one. And if you’ve recently lost a loved one or are dealing with a recent transition, I send you more love and more ease. 


Times are hard. And I’m tired. What about you?  



In Colorado we’re in almost full lock down again and it seems many of us are at our wits end. 



On my recent daily walk a biker came by and called me a fucking idiot because I didn’t have my mask on. It was there ready to put on but they came around the corner so quickly I didn’t have time to. At first I thought they were talking to themselves and then I realized they were talking to me. 



I’m a fucking idiot? Oh, they have no idea what I do to protect others. I felt like I’d been slimed with violence, but I took a breath and didn’t react. And I suddenly felt very sad that this is where we’re at as a society. 



I’m so sad about so many things, and this comment just made my load of grief simply feel heavier. 



It can be so difficult to not react to others. We’re all on edge and it just feels harder to be a better human right now.



Reminds me of an insight I had the other day with a grief coaching client. She was talking about being in a store where they had limited capacity so only four people were allowed in at a time. And I thought-we’re ALL operating at limited capacity right now!



So if the stores are operating at limited capacity, why can’t I? 



In that moment, I gave myself permission to operate at 40%. In fact, what would that look like especially with the holiday season upon us? 


So, I got to thinking since we’re operating with less capacity, let’s make life a bit easier. 

Here are my life ease hacks:


  • I give you full permission to say no-have more boundaries than usual-say no to taking that other course or being on that zoom call, etc. When you say no, you’re really saying yes to yourself and that just feels really good. Try it.


  • Stop “doom scrolling”. And if you need to scroll for news and updates-limit your time by setting a timer and stick to it. Find a way to be both informed but not consumed by the media. And notice if your mood improves when you do this?


  • And then scroll for beauty instead. Find things that make you smile. Or go outside and do a different kind of scrolling. In fact, right now pause your reading and look around your space-can you find 3 things that feel beautiful to you in this moment and then feel that beauty in your body? 


  • If you use Facebook…another cool hack, especially if you’re in acute grief, is to change your fb newsfeed to stop the memories from appearing. You know what I mean right? There you are checking your fb and it blasts you with a memory and suddenly you’re overcome with a grief burst. 


Here’s how to take that off: go to facebook.com/memories/ and you’ll see your options. It’s so easy to shut that off if you just can’t handle being bombarded by what FB thinks you’d love to see. 


  • The best hack ever and I think I say this every blog-get outside and move your body if you can.


  • Be a joy detective-find things that make you feel joy, even if just for a moment. If you’d like more on this, I will be packaging my module 6 of my online grief relief program-it’s all about grief and joy. Stay tuned for that little gift from me…


  • And finally because it’s Thanksgiving week-I give you permission to be both grateful AND sad-feel both grief and joy. 


In fact, the brain state of high stress and feeling joy are side by side-have you ever noticed you’ll be in an extremely stressful state followed by an insight which leads you to transform your tears of grief to ones of joy? 


  • I also give you permission to have total freedom with the holidays. I’ll miss gathering with my family but I’ve decided to fast instead of cook that traditional turkey meal. And I’m giving that meal money to this organization instead: https://www.firstnations.org/fndi_donate/  It’s part of my personal reparations plan. 


We once had a caregiver who was Native American and for the entire month of November he fasted (he ate one simple meal at sunset), and he kept a vow of silence to bring awareness to what this holiday truly was to Native Americans. Read more here: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-orange-thanksgiving-history-20171123-story.html 



Join me in a fast and/or donate money if you have some to spare.



Let’s get creative about how to do this holiday season differently. If it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year then let’s make it easier and for me that means saying no and using my creativity…



Let’s light more candles, put up more twinkle lights and leave them up for as long as you want to, (personally I keep them up all year), tell more stories, have a zoom sing-a-long or dance party, eat what you want to and take the pressure off of doing it the way we’ve done it for years. Maybe it’s time to make new traditions.



So, what’s one thing you’re gonna do different this year to make the holidays easier. I’d love to hear from you. 



And many many blessings to you all and thanks for being here on this journey with me!


Grieve well, rest more, say no often and be well.