While for some people the holidays are the “most wonderful times of the year,” for others it takes all of their emotional strength to just get through them.

For seniors and aging relatives it can be especially difficult.  They are most likely nostalgic about years gone by and missing friends and other family members who have passed away.  It’s especially difficult if they have lost a spouse.  And for those living alone or without family close by it can be even worse.

I’ve noticed the change in my mom since my dad passed away and now that her sister is in a nursing home.  She misses past Christmas celebrations when her siblings and parents were alive and reminisces about when I was young.  It’s impossible to recreate these times and quite frankly, with spouses and extended family new traditions have formed.  While I want to help her maintain some traditions, I also want her to embrace the present moment and enjoy times with her grandkids and the rest of the family – myself included!

Here are few ways to help seniors avoid holiday blues:

Get some fresh air: Visit a Christmas Village, take a walk in the woods, go caroling.  Getting outside and soaking in some Vitamin D while also enjoying a change of scenery helps clear their mind and focus on something else.

Volunteer: Giving back and helping others is a great way to focus on larger issues.  Whether it’s volunteering at a homeless shelter, delivering food to the elderly or collecting toys for children giving back makes you feel better.

Include them in new traditions – Involve them with activities your kids are doing and incorporate in something from their holiday traditions.  Baking cookies and using a new recipe as well as one of their favorite recipes will help create new and cherished experiences.

 

Travel – My mom just left on a cruise.  She travelled by herself down to Fort Lauderdale and met my cousins on the ship.  This was waaayyy out of her comfort zone and I’m so proud of her for doing it.  Taking a Caribbean vacation in December is something that certainly was not a part of her traditions but the pictures she’s been sending have been incredible.  She’s having a blast and it’s given her a new perspective. 

The holidays come with mixed emotions and for many seniors it’s a tough time.  Helping them expand their view and gain new perspective will help tremendously.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who’s going through a divorce.  She’s filled with anger towards her ex.  Whether it’s justified or not, it’s how she feels.  But what I pointed out to her is that this anger that’s raging inside of her is not changing or affecting him in any way.  I mean, it’s not like she made some sort of voodoo doll and was able to cause him some real physical pain (although I’m sure she’d like to.)  The only thing that her anger is accomplishing is making her stress level go up, most likely causing health issues and definitely preventing her from moving on with her life and being happy.

As I’ve begun my journey as a motivational speaker and blogger, I’m coming in contact with many people who are struggling with anger at their significant other, friends, kids, co-workers and neighbors.  And yes, they’re even angry at themselves for choices they’ve made that they deeply regret.  Their thoughts are consumed with how they’ve been wronged and how life is unfair.

Whether it’s trying to understand why a good friend has chosen to walk out of your life, why an ex-spouse continues to try and hurt you or why a family member has said hurtful things, you’ll probably never learn the reason.    You could also be struggling with feeling like an inadequate provider for your family, a “slacker mom” who never does as much as the other moms or poor body image.  The holidays tend to accentuate these feelings as we think back on previous years when things might have seemed better.

Let’s face it, it’s hard letting go of a grudge and equally hard letting go of feelings of inadequacy.   But the old cliché is true – the only person you’re hurting is yourself.  And so I’m asking you to give yourself the most valuable gift you could ever receive this year – acceptance.

Accept that people are making the choices they’re making and that’s there “thing.”  Stop trying to forgive or even understand.  Allow them to go on their way down their own path.  You can’t control them or change them but you canturn the energy inward and make peace with yourself about the situation.

And next, accept yourself.  The idea of “perfection” is imposed by outside people and doesn’t exist.  You’re strong, beautiful and have the power to create the life you want.

Are you ready to be happy?

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Now that my daughter is driving it’s opened up an entire new area of gift options for the holidays.  To figure out what a new driver wants for Christmas I asked my daughter to compile this list.  Here are her top picks for gifts for new drivers.

Anzazo Car Essential Oil Diffuser

This essential oil diffuser is designed for cars.  It uses water-less diffusion technology to protect the electronic components of your car from water vapors. 

And you can use your favorite essential oils or pick up some here.

 

 

 

Aux Cord for iPhone

 

This cord allow you to input sound from your iPhone with a normal headphone socket. Easiest way to play music, audiobooks or podcasts in your car.

 

 

 

Roadside Assistance Car Emergency Kit

New driver or experienced driver, this is a must-have in your car. This emergency car kit will prove invaluable should you ever get stranded or if your car, SUV or truck unexpectedly breaks down in the middle of the road. Above all, it’s a matter of staying safe and always being prepared wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

Car Vacuum

This will allow your new driver to clean the interior of the car themselves saving you time and money running to the car wash.

 

 

 

 

 

Polarized Aluminum Sunglasses Vintage Sun Glasses

Inexperienced drivers will benefit from these polarized sunglasses which reduce glare reflected off of roads, bodies of water, snow, and other horizontal surfaces.

And, they are really good looking!