Previous chapters of Room For Change have addressed redesigning areas of your home and thereby creating room to change your outlook or perspective. It has also been suggested that simply moving in a different daily pattern can create a more optimistic outlook or help with your grief feelings if only for a fleeting time.
What has not been addressed is how you feel in such a space or in other physical settings that you may venture to, be it a family gathering, church, a restaurant or your office. In grief, we often do not know from minute to minute how we will feel, but how we inwardly feel about ourselves can magnify a positive spin on what occurs outwardly.
You have rearranged your furnishings, your accents, your lighting. How can you relate that to YOU?
Your furnishings. Imagine your clothes. Are they outdated? Do they speak to an older vision of you? Are they threadbare in spots or piled? Have you lost or gained weight in your grief process and nothing seems to fit? If yes, an opportunity awaits. Get back to basics with some simple, classic or fun clothes. Buy a new pair of slacks that actually fit and can be a standard from which you start a fresh wardrobe. Purchase a blazer or jacket of a texture you love and throw it over a basic skirt or pant. Buy new underwear! During my high school years on test days I tried to wear something new; a vest, a sweater, a necklace. Did it make me feel fresh and new? It did. Did it make my testing skills better, I don't know. I do know that attitude helps. Confidence to get through trials can increase along with it.
Your accents. If you have a few basic clothes, think about a bright new purse or shoes to liven your step. Accessories are like paint color on walls in your room. They can be the least expensive to change and can frame the attitude of what they adorn. Bring some life or sparkle with beads which reflect light. For guys, maybe a new wallet or new socks or sneakers can start the process of stepping out into your newly formed world with more confidence and comfort. A new haircut or hairstyle can enhance your stride as well. A new you, maybe change the hair color. Never did it before? Maybe now is the time. The worse thing that can happen is that you change it back again!
Your lighting. Your smile, your posture, your walk. This reminds me of a "mother talk" but body language can work both ways. When you smile self-producing body chemicals ooze into your blood stream. These are the good feeling ones. This can be as simple as a small smile as you observe a child at the bus stop or smiling at a stranger going the opposite way down the aisle in a grocery store. Standing tall engages core muscles which allows greater circulation to major organs and just plain feels better on all your joints than slouching. Your mind in grief could be fighting many battles and your body often goes along for the ride. Support your body with good posture, moderate exercise and balanced nutrition. Enlisting a friend to join you can be helpful too. We all need motivation from time to time!
Give yourself permission to make small changes in redesigning you. Just as your home, small changes in you can open other doors and possibilities for positive change in your life. Grief may not "feel good" but being good to yourself is a great investment. Treat yourself as your best friend with TLC and love. You deserve it.