Stresses of the Holiday Season

Stresses of the Holiday Season

While the holiday season can be a happy and joyous time, it is also a difficult time for many people. For example, it is common for elder seniors to experience stresses of the holiday season including feeling lonely and sad.  

The truth is, sometimes the holidays do not look like the warm, connected gatherings that are shown in advertisements and movies. With parties and family to deal with—or coping with a lack of invites—the holiday season can be full of anxiety.

If you are feeling invisible, it is time to remember that you are valued. As a senior, your knowledge and skills are vital, assets the younger generation will not be able to access for decades. If you are feeling bad this season, reach out for support during these periods of loneliness and sadness. You can take control of your emotions and manage your stress.

Family Sadness and Managing Expectations

When families gather for the holidays, relatives and loved ones who have passed away are especially missed. Sometimes sharing your grief can help, whether that is with a trusted family member or a professional counselor.

Plus, many find themselves in families that do not function in a way that is harmonious. Families often have relationships within the family structure that are strained, because of different beliefs or individuals who are hypercritical.

While you may feel anger, losing your temper will not help. Although it can be tempting to demand what you want, demands on love are often ignored. Sincere, honest conversations may yield results, but you have to be open to what others say. Accept your family members for who they are, it is impossible to change someone else. Be realistic and try to celebrate a fine holiday without expecting one that is picture perfect.

Stresses of the Holiday Season Can Include Mobility Issues

For some seniors, mobility is an issue during the holiday season. This creates stress and anxiety for individuals who are unable to do shopping traditions like they used to or have to navigate houses of friends or relatives without mobility concerns, homes designed or decorated without joint issues or canes, walkers, or scooters in mind.

Coping with Feelings of Loneliness

Others find they are without close friends or only have family members who live far away. Then, the holiday time of year is a reminder of relationships that have not lasted throughout the years. This is not uncommon. If you feel this way, you are not alone.

If you are feeling lonely, be proactive and improve your life. Reach out for personal consulting over the phone if you are not feeling confident to connect with others yet. Eventually, when you are ready, you may find it helpful to volunteer with a local organization or join a hobby group.

New connections are reminders of how big the world is. While there are many frustrations during the holiday season, try to remind yourself of all you do have. Practice mindfulness and acceptance. And reach out for support.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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