The word sloth comes from the Latin word acedia, which means lack of care, indifference or carelessness. This post isn't about not caring for ourselves (that's going to be in the Gluttony post), it's about learning not to care quite so much about what others think to protect our own health, both mental and physical.
I’m a people pleaser and a diplomat. I was brought up to think about how people feel, and put their feelings and needs before mine. I found myself managing other people's grief as well as my own. Treading around them gently, reassuring them, looking after them, while inside my head I roared "He was mine! This grief is mine!" At an extreme, these people become grief vampires or grief hijackers, who twist any grief conversation around to be about them rather than about you.
It's okay to say no to things. It's about putting yourself first for once. You are allowed not to accept every invitation, and if you do accept invitations and you think they will be tough, have a plan – arrive early so you don't have to walk into a busy room of people and so you can check out somewhere to hide if you need a break. Arrange to meet people outside so you have someone to walk in with. Drive so you can leave when you want, or book a taxi for a specific time – you can always rebook it if you need to.
Conversely, it's okay to enjoy yourself. We no longer have to obey a strict etiquette of mourning that dictates what we wear or how we behave in a specific mourning period. We can laugh, sing and dance if we want to, but always and only if we want to.
We need to put ourselves first.
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.