Sunday, December 26, 2010

After the Holidays

     The holidays can be an especially trying time if you have an unwell animal or have suffered a recent loss.  Sometimes getting through them can seem like a relief, and other times it can be a real let down when the glitz and busyness of the holidays are over and you are left with "regular" life.

     Make sure you make time for you.  Caring for your animal can be exhausting and tireless work.  When you combine that with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you can be left feeling completely drained.  See if a family member, friend, or neighbor can help out for a couple of hours so you can get a break.  Give yourself permission to take some time away.

     This time between the holiday rush and the New Year can be a very powerful time of reflection, contemplation and preparing for the new year.  It is a great time to make a memory book, scrap book, plan a memorial garden or play with art.  Even if you have never painted before, you may be surprised how good it feels to get some brushes and paint, then put your emotions and feelings on canvas.  For some people, the feeling of clay in their fingers can be hugely satisfying.  For others, collaging or scrap booking may be inspiring.  Try something new, express yourself.  Don't think about the finished product, just how it feels to play in a new medium.  See if you can lose yourself in creative expression.  You don't have to show the finished product to anyone - you don't even have to keep it if you don't like it.  It is about the process, not the product.

     Remember - winter is a time of hibernation and germination.  It is a season of quiet.  This is often a time of great internal work and growth.  Spend quiet time with your animals who are alive and with the memory of your animals who have passed.  See what they might have to teach you if you are quiet and listen.

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