On November 1st, I was scrolling Facebook when this gem showed up in my newsfeed:

“No” vember: A time to practice saying no to people, places, and things that drain your energy. (And a time to say yes! to the things that light you up.) ~Life on Purpose Movement

It certainly stopped my scroll! I sat with it for a minute, letting the perspective wash over me. November can be overwhelming. We just finished Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Awareness Month, and then we head right into the holiday season. Another holiday season without our babies. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I don’t get to take a deep breath before we’re knee-deep in the holiday hustle and bustle. We’re exhausted and spent.

So, this year, I’m giving you all a little early holiday gift: the permission to say NO.

Embracing “No” vember: Set yourself up for a more peaceful holiday season after loss

Let’s fully embrace “No” vember and set ourselves up for a more peaceful holiday season. Let’s have a holiday season where we do what fills our hearts, not what depletes our spirits.

The holidays really accentuate the ones who are missing, no matter where you are on your journey after loss. If you’re a few years away from your loss, the magic may have returned a bit. But, that doesn’t mean the pain is gone, that you don’t still miss them.

So, what will you say, “No,” to this holiday season?

You don’t feel up to the holiday party at work? Say, “No.”

No energy for the annual brunch with your girlfriends that you do instead of swapping gifts? Say, “No.”

Do you have family or friends that don’t “get” it? Say, “No” to gatherings where they’ll be in attendance.

Give yourself permission to say, “No,” to any and all gatherings, decorating the house, shopping, baking, traveling, and anything else. It’s OK, even if people don’t understand.

And, what will you do that fills your heart? What will you say, “yes” to?

Do you have a special project planned to remember your baby who died that helps you feel connected during the holidays? Say, “Yes!”

Is there a tradition you have with your family that you look forward to each year? Say, “Yes!”

Do you want to be surrounded by family? Say, “Yes!” to those gatherings.

Choose a few things to fill you up and say, “Yes!” to those. If you need to say no to everything else so you can have those few yeses, that’s OK. That’s what you need to do.

Let’s step back this year and let ourselves breathe. Embrace “No” vember.

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