Finding our Way Through the Holidays as We Age

This time of year seems to emphasize the thresholds and passages in our lives more than any other time. Not only is the traffic heavier and the crowds thicker but we may find that our interests and focuses have changed as well.

Many people find that depression sets in as they approach a season, which used to hold great activity has now changed or disappeared. We may choose to continue to wish for what no longer exists for us, or we may evoke the creative spirit within us to originate a new and exciting way to participate in the holidays.

Traditions Change

At the holidays more than any other time, we may miss the people who have left our lives, or the little children who have reached adulthood. Suddenly, for many of us at this time in our lives, our children have children of their own, and new traditions begin to develop. They may be spending time with their spouse’s family and sometimes we may find ourselves alone for the holiday. If we don’t cling to the old with regret, or demand that life stays the same in order for us to be happy, we can find that the holidays can easily take on new meaning and new activities.

Perhaps it is time in your life to develop new traditions or rituals. Even if you don’t have family to celebrate with, there are many people with whom you can share. So, the questions to ask may be, “How can I be a part of this holiday in a new way?” or, “What do I have to contribute to other people as they experience the holidays?”

Stress Occurs

Stress is a reaction our bodies have to change. When we are confronted with too many changes–even happy ones–at one time, we may react with body tension, shortness of breath, headache and short fuse tempers. If you experience many changes in a short time period make sure to nurture yourself through them by recognizing those you cannot change, and accepting them, and those you can change and taking positive action. Serenity is being authentic in every moment of our lives, and while recognizing that even as our life changes, we remain our original self, capable of new adventures in living.

Happiness Happens:

Sometimes serenity comes to us only when we take time out from our usual ways of doing things, or engage in something new and stimulating. Consider using a few moments to walk quietly around your neighborhood just looking at the color combinations you see in the environment.

Buy a magazine on a topic you know little about and read it from cover to cover.

Buy a book of simple magic and become skilled at a few tricks.

Buy a yo-yo and practice the various techniques.

Do a crossword puzzle, or word search. Read the dictionary. Relax!!!

Some other ways to relieve stress:

Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Meditation.

Exercise and stretching.

Forgiving yourself and others.

Treating our senses to great pleasure elevates our moods and lifts our spirits. Here are some ways for you to spread your internal wings.

Fill your home with fragrant fresh flowers and green plants — if you don’t have a green thumb, invest in some realistic silk ones.

Feast your eyes on color by surrounding yourself with pleasing colors both in your home and on your body. Let your mood dictate what color you wear.

Treat your ears to music you adore. For a melodic uplift, try soft rock; for creative moments or quiet contemplation, listen to classical; to really get moving, try country.

Experience generosity by volunteering. Being needed and serving others restores perspective in our lives. Give your time and talent to a worthy organization.

As you come through the holidays, remember that our attitude greatly affects our experience.

Use this affirmation on a daily basis and enjoy the passage of time.

Today I live my life as a creative person, fashioning a joy-filled holiday season as I create new traditions and find new ways of being.

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