The January Blues - a feeling of depression or deep unhappiness associated with experiencing the cold and darkness of winter.
The blues are a common form of temporary sadness, (or even just feeling a bit down) that settles in after an occasion or big event. In this case, the January blues tend to settle in after the holidays. You may feel sad because you won’t see your family again for a while. You may have put on holiday weight or failed to meet the goals you set for the holiday season. In addition, the weather in January for millions of Americans is cold, rainy, or snowy. There are fewer daylight hours, and many people have to return to work after a long break during the holiday season. Others may feel saddened by bills from holiday shopping coming due or may feel stress about the long, colder, months ahead.
It pretty much feels like a case of the Mondays—for 31 days straight.
But a few years ago, I had a realization: Like it or not, January is one twelfth of my year and I should probably figure out how to cope with the blues.
Coping with the January blues can be challenging. You may need to change your habits or adopt new lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may include:
Practicing self-care – Exercise, meditate, adopt a healthier diet
Get outdoors – Exposure to daylight is good for us, and we often become depressed in darker months due to our limited sunlight exposure
Avoid Unrealistic New Year's resolutions – To many people set resolutions that are often difficult or unattainable that causes a feeling of failure that leads to sadness
It looks like most schools in the United States won’t open as usual due to COVID-19. If they do, students won’t have the experience they are used to.
If school doesn’t reopen at all, kids will have to get used to not seeing their friends or teachers and adjusting to a new way of learning.
Although it’s easy to understand intellectually why this is happening, most people do not associate school closures as grief. But it is. Grief can be caused by the change in a familiar pattern of behavior.
Although school closures aren't what most people associate with grieve it most certainly is a grieving experience.
There are articles all over the internet talking about how resilient kids are and how they will adjust and bounce back. That may or may not be true, but I do know that children will have a greater chance of being resilient if they are allowed to feel their normal and natural feelings as they arise.
So, what can you do to help your kids with their grief?
If your kids think you are hiding your feelings, they will mimic your behavior.
If they see you intellectualizing your emotions, they will do the same.
If they see you being strong, they will try to be strong too.
When your kids talk about missing school, their friends and teachers, or activities that they were looking forward to, don't try to tell that it will be ok. Acknowledge what they say. And respond with something like “I know that’s disappointing isn’t it, buddy?” Then stop talking and listen to their reply.
You can even tell the truth about your feelings. If you’re disappointed or sad about school being closed, tell them. Telling the truth makes it safe for your kids to do the same. If you hide your feelings, your kids may get confused because they are receiving mixed signals between what they sense and see in your body language and what your words are saying.
While you can’t control what is happening with the school system, you can help your children to be emotionally honest and to avoid the hazards of hiding feelings.
Kids may be little, but they are smart! You are their role model and they will follow your lead. Give them the best tools to work through their grief by allowing them to experience their normal and natural feelings. When you do, you will be helping them learn skills that they will need for the rest of their lives.
Danny Colella: Hello everyone and welcome! If you are someone that has been suffering with grief for a long time, and you think there is no way out, and you've been living with that pain for some time, and traditional therapy just doesn't seem like the road that you want to go down. Well, we have got some good news for you today because we are going to be talking about alternatives to traditional therapy. So, stick around!
Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death
A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength
are normal and natural
Start your journey today
Danny Colella: So again, if you've been struggling with grief and traditional therapy just doesn't seem like the road that you want to go down, then stick around! Because we are going to talk about an amazing alternative traditional therapy.
So today, I am joined with Laurie, who is the owner of Healing Heart center, Colorado. So, Laurie, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself to anybody that doesn't know.
Lauri Freeman: Hi everyone! My name is Laurie Freeman, and I am a certified grief recovery specialist and the Greif Recovery Method. I am also an integrated wellness life coach, and I am located in Littleton.
Danny Colella: Awesome! So again, we want to encourage you whether you are watching live or in the replay, we know grief isn't something that is fun to talk about. In fact, if you want to go back and watch last week's video, we will put the link in the comment, Laurie shares about her personal story with grief. You've been hit with grief, you've had multiple suicides in your family, you've been through this, and now you are to the point where you want to start helping other people.
So, if traditional therapy wasn't your thing again, I want to encourage you to stick around. Let's get right into the content today, right into what we talked about before Laurie that how does the Greif Recovery Method, which is an evidence-based seven-week program, differ from traditional therapy?
Lauri Freeman: So, like you said, it is a systematic approach, and we have clear, concise steps that you take in order to overcome your grief. You are held accountable for homework assignments, for reading assignments, for verbalizing with me your thoughts and feelings about the curriculum. Its each week builds on upon the prior week in order to bring you to success at the end of the seven weeks. And with traditional therapy, like I just said, this is seven weeks; with traditional therapy, you don't know how long you are going to take, and you don't know how much money you are going to spend.
Danny Colella: It is a really valid point. So, with traditional therapy, it could be that it is an indefinite amount of time that you are going to work through what's happening in your life, and for some people, that is great. We are not bashing traditional therapy for any reason whatsoever, but for others, there may be more interested in getting to the root and kind of getting over their grief, and that is where the seven-week program really comes into play.
Our third question, we are going to break down what that program is all about, so stick around. This is a fixed cost program, seven weeks, and they are done!
Lauri Freeman: They are done!
Danny Colella: Right? So, talk about a little bit about how this is when you are treating people. So, you are just one-on-one, kind of, in a coaching environment, right?
Lauri Freeman: Correct. I direct you in the homework assignments, in the reading, we discuss all the aspects of the seven weeks of the program, but I am just kind of coaching you in order for you to do the work. If you don't do the work, you are not going to achieve the benefits that you are looking for.
Danny Colella: And that makes a lot of sense. Last week, we talked about myths. We talked about myths around grief. What were a few of those myths we talked about last week?
Lauri Freeman: Be strong. Time heals all wounds. Grieve alone. All those myths that we are taught...
Danny Colella: Your favorite one of them is 'staying busy', right?
Lauri Freeman: Staying busy, yes!
Danny Colella: Stay busy. So, these myths around grief that you should do all these things, right? If you are dealing with grief, you should stay busy, you should do all these things. But this week, we are going to talk about these coping mechanisms that keep you stuck. So, what are these coping mechanisms that kind of keep you stuck?
Lauri Freeman: Some of the coping mechanisms that keep people stuck are drinking alcohol, shopping, social media, too much sleeping, too much eating. We call those short-term energy relieving behaviors. These are activities that you use to try to make yourself feel better, and they do for a while, but then they stop working, and that is why they are called short-term energy relieving behaviors. And then most times, they are not harmful, but they could be if you start gambling and you went to the extreme and then you have other problems that come along.
Danny Colella: And when they are harmful is when you are using them to just not face your grief.
Lauri Freeman: Right.
Danny Colella: For you, you were in over volunteer, right? Talk about that.
Lauri Freeman: Right. I was working full time. I got involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and I was volunteering 20 plus hours a week. I thought I was honoring my son and my husband by doing all this work. If I could save one life, you know, that would make their lost worth it. But I wasn't honoring myself. I was not allowing myself the time to grieve. I wasn't allowing myself to take the steps that I needed to do to heal myself.
Danny Colella: I get that. So, whether you are joining us now live or in the replay, we are talking about alternatives to traditional therapy, and we are talking about a seven-week program that is made to help you overcome your grief in seven weeks. It is called the Greif Recovery Method. And if you are somebody out there that has overcome the grief, Laurie is somebody that is worked through these steps and done the program and overcame her grief. If you are out there and you are brave enough to comment below that you did the Greif Recovery Method and you had a great experience, let us know in the comments because that is going to help somebody who's maybe on the bubble to do this, know that other people are doing it maybe I should try it, because I know you are working with three amazing people right now that are interested in getting over this in seven weeks.
Lauri Freeman: Correct. They've tried the other method of therapy, and it just did not work for them, and so they've come to me, and already, I can see the difference in two weeks.
Danny Colella: And that is a big deal.
Lauri Freeman: It is a big deal.
Danny Colella: That is a big deal because, for anybody struggling with grief, you know that feeling. Explain it. What is that feeling in the depth of your grief?
Lauri Freeman: Utter sadness and lack of energy and focus, and just feeling like life is not worth living. And if you start going through the program and working through your grief, you are going to find that life is worth living, and you will find happiness again, and your memories and thoughts aren't going to be so painful.
Danny Colella: I want that for you. We really do!
Lauri Freeman: We do!
Danny Colella: So, we are going to get into the program. I promised you we would talk about it. Laurie, talk about this seven-week program. We are going to give you a very 10,000-foot view of what it looks like to work through this program so that you can know what it takes.
Lauri Freeman: So, we talk about what is grief, that what is grief, what is unresolved grief, what is completeness. We talk about the myths like we talked about last week, we talked about the myths that we are all brought up to believe and our parents learned it from their parents, we learned it from our parents, and how they don't work.
We also learn about how our society is not really well versed in how to help someone who is grieving, so we talk about that. We also talk about the short-term energy relieving behaviors and how we use those in order to make ourselves feel better. A lot of times, people will realize, well, all this coffee drinking in this chocolate, that is my stir, that is what I have been doing, and I did not know I was doing it and why I was doing it. We also then go into all the losses that you've had in your life. So, we look at losses from, you know, you lost your friend when you were in sixth grade to maybe a major loss, like a death or suicide. We have talked about those because a lot of times the way you handle the later losses is how you handle the beginning losses, so we start to find patterns of how you cope, and then we work on a relationship graph with either the person or the loss that you came to deal with. Because in a relationship it is a two-way street and a lot of times in our grief, we tend to either say that person never did anything wrong or that person did everything wrong, and we start to realize as we go through the relationship graph that they were human, we were human, there was good, there was bad, there was a relationship going on. After we go through the relationship graph, we start to realize we have undelivered communications that we need to express. What do I need to apologize for in that relationship? What do I need to forgive for? And what do I just need to say? And then we turn around, and we put make a completion letter using those recovery components, and you read it out loud to me, and it is transformational. It truly, truly is! The weight of your grief just lifts off your body.
Danny Colella: I have done letters like that before, and I can say I have experienced that feeling of getting over something you did not feel like you could get over. So, it is amazing what happens when you write it down on paper.
Lauri Freeman: And when you actually put it into words, it is like getting it out of your body, so it is not just going around in your mind over and over and over again and in your heart.
Danny Colella: Yeah, and if you are somebody out there again, you are dealing with grief, you are dealing with all these memories, you are dealing with all this unresolved stuff, it can feel overwhelming! It can feel like you can't move forward, you can't get through it, you'll never get through it, this is your new normal. And I want to encourage you; you are not alone. Laurie helps people like this every day who felt stuck at one point. There's this old out adage of, you know, how do you eat an elephant.
Lauri Freeman: One bite at a time!
Danny Colella: One bite at a time and one bite at a time just might be starting with a phone call or a consultation. What I love about you is specifically for the Facebook live audience, you are going to offer 15% off, right?
Lauri Freeman: Yeah! It is just when you call or email for a free consultation, just mention Facebook live, and we can take it from there.
Danny Colella: Yeah, because we don't want money to be a barrier. At the end of the day, Lauri has to run a business, but she wants to make sure that you overcome the grief, and you get the support that you need through this entire operation. So, for anybody, that is kind of on the fence Laurie, what would you say to them? Really reach back when you were Lauri in the depth of that grief, and you know how hard it is, you know how heavy this phone is to finally pick up and say, I need help! What would you say to that person?
Lauri Freeman: Just go ahead, pick up the phone, give me a call. We can talk! I can listen to you. I can help you and maybe erase some of the fears that you have that this is going to be really painful to go through this process. But this is seven weeks versus maybe doing a year of therapy. I mean, would you want to do that every week for a year or once a week for seven weeks and know that at the end you are going to feel so much better.
Danny Colella: That is a really good point. I really love that. And for anybody that is not quite there but you might want to learn a little more, we are going to put in the comments a link to one of Lauri's private groups. You can join that group, learn a little bit more about the program. This is a private group, so it is safe to ask questions, nothing gets shared outside the group, even if it got shared outside the group, the content isn't available. This is a safe space to talk about what you are going through in your life with people that have gone through it or going through it at this part of their life. So, if that is the next logical step for you, go down into the comments and click that link and request to join that group, and as always, Lauri opens herself up for conversations. I see it all the time through Facebook messenger people reach out to you, they want to know what's going on, and how you can help.
Lauri Freeman: Yes, they do!
Danny Colella: I love that.
Lauri Freeman: And I love helping.
Danny Colella: You do! That is why you do this, right?
Lauri Freeman: Right, that is what makes me do it.
Danny Colella: So, we appreciate your time. We really enjoyed you being here. If you haven't already liked this page, make sure you click the like button so that you can be sort of with us as we do future trainings and education. We exist, and we do these Facebook live things just to really help you understand what's going on with you so that you can start to get to the core of your grief and start to really get some of that relief.
So, thanks for your knowledge and information today, Laurie.
Lauri Freeman: Thank you. Hope to talk to you soon.
Danny Colella: We will see you all soon.
Danny and Lauri: Bye Bye
Deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death
A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength