Marinating vs. Wallowing…

Definition of marinate (vti)  (from Bing dictionary)

1. give or undergo lengthy exposure: to be exposed to something for a long time, or cause somebody or something to be thoroughly immersed in something

Now that the holidays are over, folks are reporting an intensification of their emotions.  Without all the distractions, there is time to think. Go with it.  Think the thoughts.  Feel the feelings.  Allow whatever comes to come. Look at photos.  Listen to music that reminds you of your person.  I call it marinating.  Allow yourself to be immersed in the grief, but don’t wallow.

Definition of wallow (vi)  (from Bing dictionary)

1. indulge in something excessively: to take pleasure or be immersed in something in a self-indulgent way

What’s the difference?  Sometimes we need what I call a “couch day”.  That’s what I call those days when engaging with the world is just too hard.  When you just want to stay in your sweat pants, pull the covers up and eat toast over the kitchen sink.  One or two of those is marinating.  Three or more is wallowing…and it’s unhealthy.  Go ahead and take a day every now and then to be alone and marinate in your grief.  BUT when you have potato chips crushed into your sweatshirt and haven’t showered or answered the phone in three days, it’s time to call someone — either a supportive friend or family member or a professional.

If you take a day to marinate (and I hope you do occasionally), on the next day get up, shower, get dressed, stand outside your door and breathe deeply.  Just breathe.  A great big cleansing breath.  Stretch.  Greet the day.  Choose to engage in life.

Lisa B. Wolfe Copyright 2014

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One Response to Marinating vs. Wallowing…

  1. Pingback: Is it a couch day??? | Translating Grief

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