Why Bother?


CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

​As the winter season sets in, many may start to wonder,“What am I going to do with my time?” Extended daylight hours and the ability to get outside to exercise and soak in some vitamin D have come to a close. For some, the darkness gives permission to stay inside and curl up on the sofa with a warmmug and a blanket. Others, especially those who are grieving, may feel anxiety and dread about those long, dark evenings.

When considering how to fill the long hours, some people feel unmotivated to engage in activities they normally enjoy.Thinking “Why bother?” is not
uncommon. It is also not uncommon for this lack of interest to be troubling to the individual. “Why can’t I do this thing that I enjoy?”“What is wrong with me?”

There is likely a grief trigger hiding within these activities. A trigger is anything that brings up memories or feelings of a loss - and it’s not always something as obvious as an anniversary date or a favorite song. Even hobbies you think of as solo activities may have a small link to your loved one who died. If you are
a baker, perhaps your loved one was the taste tester. If you are a crossword puzzle junkie, perhaps your loved one was your sounding board.That tiny connection may now feel like a giant missing piece that creates a barrier to doing the activity.

So, what’s next?
Perhaps it’s time to stretch and try something new. It’s time to Google, search Pinterest or phone a friend for some suggestions. One of the hardest parts of finding a new activity is finding the motivation to start.

You may want to call a local community center,YMCA or library to see what types of classes are available. For those struggling with motivation, being part of a group activity adds social interaction as well as a sense that others are counting on you to be a part of the experience.

If the thought of finding a new hobby doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps find a new audience for your old pastime. If you enjoyed creating a tangible finished product, look for a place that could benefit from these creations. Friends, family, local shelters, nursing homes or churches might appreciate your knitted scarves or well-made quilts. Doing something for others can take us outside of ourselves and remind us of our continued value in the world.

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