The holidays are a busy time for all. Between family dinners, gift shopping, and decorating, many people start to feel overwhelmed and stressed by all the things they have to do. Seniors especially can begin to feel stressed, especially if they have lots of obligations or if it’s the first holiday season after a major illness.
One of the best things you can do no matter who you are is to plan ahead. If you’re a daughter, son, or grandchild, start thinking about family plans for the year. Consider any limitations that older family members may have; for example, if they can’t drive, who will drive them?
If they have diet limitations, it’s important to plan ahead so that they can still enjoy a holiday meal. Include your older family member in these conversations so that they have input on what they’re comfortable with.
And if you’re a senior, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can be hard to take the first step in asking someone for help, even if you just need assistance baking this year’s pie or shopping for gifts. The holidays are supposed to bring joy, not obligation and stress; so, put an emphasis on the things that you love doing, and maybe skip the things that you aren’t looking forward to. For example, you don’t have to go to every single holiday event you’re invited to; just pick the ones that are most important and go to those.
It can be easy to throw your regular routine out the window when the stress of the holiday season starts. Whether you’re young or old, keeping a regular schedule will help you de-stress and better prepare you for the day.
Keeping up your regular routine also means taking some time for yourself. Each day, take some time to do something that makes you happy. This could be going for a walk, reading, watching your favorite show, yoga, or meditation. While this time of year is the season of giving, it’s important that you don’t forget about your own well-being in the meantime.
Connect with family near and far
Holidays can be tough when a family is spread out all over the country. Luckily, today’s technology allows us to speak to – and even see – people across the world. Set up video chat for your senior so that they can see and talk to their grandkids who may be living too far away to visit often. They will be delighted to get the chance to talk to their grandchildren.
For family nearby, make it a point to schedule some time together. Even if everyone isn’t able to meet up at the same time, scheduling visits with the older members of the family who may live alone is a great way to spread some holiday cheer.
Finally, be willing to change things up. Sometimes, adding a new tradition – or dropping an old one – can spring enjoyment back into the holidays. This is especially true if the family is grieving someone who recently passed. Adding a new tradition in honor of them can be a good way to remember them.
If you’ve always had dinner at your house, but it’s become hard for your parent to get around, consider having dinner at their place instead. In fact, they may even enjoy hosting, especially if you’re willing to help them prepare.
And remember, no matter what you do for the holidays, don’t forget to enjoy and cherish the time you spend with family.
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