This is the time of the year when we set our clocks back and lose that precious daylight. It makes for a much longer night for many, especially grieving widows. “The nights are the worst” is a phrase we often hear in spouse support groups. The remaining spouse is left to figure out what to do for dinner and how to entertain themselves into the evening.
Here are some tips on how to make the time change a bit easier:
- Go to bed earlier in the winter. Make sure you get 8-9 hours of sleep. And get up earlier to get outside and enjoy the morning sunlight.
- Avoid screen time for about an hour before bedtime. The blue and white lights trick your
brain into thinking it’s daylight, and by watching TV or spending time with your phone or computer, you are not allowing your brain to slow down in preparation for sleep.
- Avoid caﬀeine after 2pm in the afternoon. While it’s diﬀerent for everyone, caﬀeine can last for hours following that cup of tea or coﬀee. And yes, that bite of chocolate after dinner also contains caﬀeine.
- Find a friend or two and share a meal together a few times per week. If you’re attending a spouse grief support group you will likely meet other men or women dealing with the same issue. They will probably welcome the idea of getting out together. Might even try getting a group together and scheduling a weekly meal.
- Hop on the phone for a little while after dinner each night. Friends or family members will enjoy hearing from you and it’s a great way to catch up with people you love.
- Write a hand-written letter to someone you care about. It’s becoming a lost art in many ways with the invention of email. And people love receiving a letter in the mail. For many, they become keepsakes.
- Read a book. There are so many good books about grief that can be helpful. Here are some of our suggestions:
- “I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye” by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair, PhD
- “It’s OK that You’re Not OK” by Megan Devine and Mark Nepo
- “The Widow’s Guide to Healing” by Kristin Meekhoﬀ and James Windell
- “Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love: Daily Meditations” by Raymond R. Mitsch and Lynn Brookside
- “Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief” by Joanne Cacciatore and Jeﬀrey Rubin
- “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser and Jerry L. Sittser
- “Walking with God Through Pain and Suﬀering” by Timothy Keller
- “Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back” by Kelly Farley
- “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander
- “To Heaven and Back” by Mary C Neal
- “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn
- Take a class in something that interests you. Here are some ideas:
- Cooking classes are a nice way to learn some new menu items and meal prep techniques.
- Try your hand on a pottery wheel. It’s frequently a small group and lasts about 6-7 weeks.
- Take piano lessons. You can invest in a digital keyboard or find someone selling a used piano and enjoy making beautiful music at night.
- Try a yoga class. Most places oﬀer beginner’s yoga and it will help you relax and stretch out your body.
- Take a painting class. You can usually try it out one time with a friend and if it’s something you enjoy, there are classes for beginners that last for several weeks.
- Join a Bible study group. These are usually offered during the evenings as well.