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In Loving Memory of Hannah: A Call to Self-Care and Compassion




This June marks a solemn and poignant anniversary for us: ten years since our beloved daughter, Hannah, chose to leave this world. On June 19, 2014, she succumbed to the pain that had gripped her young heart and mind, and our world was forever changed. Hannah was just 16, with a light in her that shone so brightly but was, tragically, extinguished too soon.


In the ten years since, we have grappled with immeasurable grief, and a profound sense of loss. However, #becauseofhannah, we have also learned the importance of self-care and kindness towards oneself and others. In Hannah's honor, please take a moment today, and every day, to nurture your own well-being. Share on Facebook inviting others to do the same. Use the hashtag #becauseofhannah and #choosetolive.


Here are some self-care practices that can help you be gentle, honest, and kind to yourself:


1. Red Light Therapy: This therapy can promote healing and reduce stress. Allow yourself the time to rest and rejuvenate under the gentle glow of red light.

2. Breath Work: Learn and practice various breath work techniques to help calm your mind and center your thoughts. Obviously, one of my most favorite practices.

3. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Engage in MBSR to manage stress, improve mental clarity, and enhance emotional resilience. Another favorite practice!

4. Horseback Riding: Spend time with horses; their calm, steady presence can be incredibly therapeutic.

5. Walking: Take a walk in nature or around your neighborhood. The simple act of moving your body can do wonders for your mental state.

6. Getting a Pet: Consider the companionship of a pet. Animals offer unconditional love and can be a great source of comfort.

7. Taking Naps: Don’t underestimate the power of rest. Allow yourself to take naps when needed to recharge your body and mind.

8. Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings. It’s a powerful way to process emotions and gain insight into your inner world.

9. Yoga: Practice yoga to connect your body and mind through gentle movement and meditation.

10. Art Therapy: Engage in creative activities like painting, drawing, or crafting to express yourself and find peace.

11. Music Therapy: Listen to or play music that soothes your soul. Music can be a powerful healer.

12. Gardening: Spend time nurturing plants and flowers. Gardening can be a grounding and rewarding activity.

13. Cooking: Prepare nutritious and delicious meals for yourself. Cooking can be both a therapeutic and nourishing practice. Obviously, sourdough has become one of my actives.

14. Reading: Lose yourself in a good book. Reading can offer an escape and provide new perspectives.

15. Meditation: Develop a meditation practice to quiet your mind and find inner peace.

16. Spending Time with Loved Ones: Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Human connection is vital for healing.

17. Therapy: Seek professional help if needed. Therapists can offer valuable tools and support for navigating difficult emotions.

18. Volunteering: Helping others can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

19. Setting Boundaries: Learn to say no and protect your personal time and energy.

20. Practicing Gratitude: Focus on the positive aspects of your life and express gratitude for them.

21. Disconnecting from Technology: Take breaks from screens and social media to reconnect with the present moment.

22. Engaging in Hobbies: Make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

23. Practice Inquiry with The Work of Byron Katie: Practice self-inquiry using Byron Katie's method to challenge and transform negative thoughts and beliefs, fostering inner peace and clarity. I'll be forever grateful for my practice in this beautiful process.

24. Connecting with your Higher Power: Creating a relationship with the Universe is key to living a peaceful life. Trusting that everything happens for me is faith in it's purest form.

25. Gratitude: It's no mistake that we are ending on this practice. Maybe it ought to be the first. If you've read to the end, then it will be the last thing you remember about these suggestions. True, heartfelt gratitude changes the chemistry of the mind. It is a practice. It doesn't come naturally to most. Take time each day to write down what you are truly grateful for. When you are grateful for even the difficult points in life, watch your life change.


Even when we feel we've done the very best we can, we may still feel suicidal. Remember that others may also feel the same. It is crucial to address the topic of suicide with compassion and understanding:


If someone confides in you that they are contemplating suicide, listen to them without judgment or panic. Don’t run away from the conversation or place blame. Be there for them with love and support. Here is a link for those of you who are willing to sit with someone who is suicidal https://livehannahshope.org/prevention/ Encourage them to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Sometimes, just being a compassionate friend can make all the difference. Use the resources I carefully sourced https://livehannahshope.org/local-and-national-resources/. Arrange a suicide prevention course in Hannah's name. I am willing to come to your home, your organization, or any location where I am needed. I will be there. https://livehannahshope.org/qpr/


In memory of Hannah, let us all commit to being kinder to ourselves and more attuned to the needs of those around us. Life can be incredibly challenging, but by embracing self-care and extending our compassion to others, we can navigate through the darkest of times.


Lastly, I want to extend my deepest gratitude for the loving support I have received over these past ten years. Your kindness, understanding, and unwavering support have been a beacon of light in my darkest moments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


With all my love,


Laura

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