Tis The Season!
#99 Are You Excited or Stressed?
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I hope yours was a good one - mine was.
Yes, ready or not - the holidays have arrived. Numerous parties, presents, great food, and fond memories may occur during the next five weeks. As Andy Williams sang
Or is it?
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Diwali, or other holidays, the season brings various emotions. For some, it is their favorite time of the year. For others, its a stressful time.
How do you feel about the holidays?
Seniors may find the holidays challenging. The Caring Senior Services website says those challenges include lack of mobility, loneliness, memories, cost, and life changes.
Many older adults can’t get around as they once did, especially if they have physical limitations. So, the inability to shop, visit and celebrate limits their joy.
While feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation may be shared by seniors, the holiday season can intensify them.
Some older folks have difficulty accepting that life is not like it was. Around the holidays, memories of the past can be powerful.
Presents, food, and everything else can take a toll on the wallet. For those on a tight budget, this can cause financial stress.
The holiday season can be difficult for folks living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. They miss their familiar surroundings and traditions.
Needs and schedules change as family and friends get older. These changes can leave older adults feeling forgotten - particularly if they live alone, have lost a partner, or suffer from illness.
It used to be my favorite time of year.
When I was young - Christmas was filled with wonder, gift-giving, and family get-togethers. As a youngster I walked a mile to Kresge’s five-and-dime store, with two dollars in my pocket, to get just the right presents for Mom and Dad.
When our children were young, I decorated the house from front to back, baked dozens of cookies and loved shopping for gifts. I wanted everything to be perfect. It was about family and celebrating Dan’s December 25th birthday.
Now not so much.
The luster is missing. This holiday season is the third without Dan, the second since my son and his family moved out of state, and the first since my grandson and his wife moved back east. We won’t be together. The focus seems to be on buying: from Black Friday to Cyber Monday to post-holiday sales, rather than on sharing.
I ordered a Christmas present for my great-granddaughter the other day. I found the link to her online Amazon gift page and ordered two items. I paid with a credit card - delivery to the house is free. Times have certainly changed since my trip to Kresge’s!
The article, I’m No Cinderella, reminded me that happiness is my responsibility. So, I decided to stop feeling sorry for what isn’t and find ways to enjoy what is.
Yesterday was different and pleasurable. I had Thanksgiving with other family members, “skyped” with my son, “face-timed” with my grandson and his wife, and texted several friends. We connected - isn’t that what it’s all about?
I also plan to
Decorate my apartment and bake a batch of cookies.
Participate in a Holiday Craft Fair next week.
Watch holiday specials on television.
Buy a new computer - a Christmas present from me to me.
So far, so good! That’s the easy part. What needs work is my attitude.
As Tracey Lawrence, author of the book “Dementia Sucks,” says,
While the holidays can be a very tough time, they can also be magical. It all depends on how you view them.
I’d been viewing the holidays as stressful and sad. Yes, I decorated, baked, and watched specials, but with an attitude of “should” rather than “wanting to.” Those activities didn’t necessarily bring joy - they were chores to be checked off a list.
A more optimistic view might allow me to enjoy doing those things and regain some of the season’s magic.
So, this is what I’m working on
accepting that things are different - and they are
creating a new set of holiday traditions - they won’t be the same, but they could be great if I let them
focusing on what I have - there is a lot for which I can be grateful
How do you feel about the holidays? Are you looking forward to them or dreading them?
You might find the article, A Game Plan for the Holidays, helpful.
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Hi, It is the memories of what was that causes the sadness, I think. Wayne Dyer is one of my favorites. His words are wise.
Oh, Janice, it's like you got inside my head and wrote these words. Well said, spot on, and so relevant. Thank you, thank you!!!