Go on, have a moan!
Autumn has always been my favourite season: vibrant colours, bonfire smells and the return of woolly jumpers and boots. But this year it has felt hard to enter the month of November without feeling, well, a little bit cheated. Lockdown trick or treating wasn’t exactly the same now, was it?
However, what is even worse to think about, is the uncertainty of the coming weeks and months. So, I find myself doing what I think many of us do and instead, spend time dwelling on the positives. “Well, at least we are healthy”, “At least I still have a job to go to” etc.
Now, of course, this is very true and I do believe that it can often be beneficial to feel certain gratitude and acceptance for all the things that we still do have. But, and this is the important bit for me, not at the expense of our sadness.
From an early age, we are conditioned to be happy and positive as much as possible. We are told not to cry or complain, in case we bring the mood down. We feel like we are burdening others if we focus for too long, or even at all, on the negative.
Over the years, this stoicism becomes the accepted norm and as a result, we have become very uncomfortable with our negative emotions. They are very much the unwelcome relative at the dinner party. You know, the one that everyone feels obliged to invite but then chooses to ignore. We minimise anger, resentment, jealousy and bitterness and push it aside.
Acknowledge your feelings
Well, I have a suggestion for you and I know it may well be an unpopular one, but today I’d like you to acknowledge your feelings of loss. Find a safe and comfortable place, either alone or with someone you trust and allow yourself to grieve all that has been taken away from you this year.
It’s ok to feel furious or to weep. The likelihood is that feeling these powerful emotions won’t hurt and it may even help. I think we are sometimes fearful of experiencing painful feelings in case they become an avalanche. In my experience, they rarely do. However, it might be best to have a few tissues at hand.
If you like, you can start small. You don’t have to scream from the rooftops or cry yourself to sleep, although feel free to do that if it feels right: I quite like to do both of them from time to time.
Maybe just start with an uncensored and fully permitted moan, or perhaps you’d feel better wrapping yourself up in a blanket and giving yourself a big hug. The wonderful thing about being human is the intricate, emotional tapestry that runs through us all. It would be very dull if our world was made of only one colour or pattern.
So let me tell you something that we all need to hear sometimes. “There, there, I know it’s sad, but it’s ok to cry.”
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