The holiday season can be a wonderful time filled with joy and magic. You might love shopping in Tempe for the perfect gift or checking out the lights display in Phoenix. But if you've found yourself feeling under pressure as the holidays approach, know this: It's okay to opt out.
As you get older, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can start to feel more overwhelming. There may be endless invites, a pile of presents to buy and wrap, and complex family dynamics to negotiate. Seniors may find that their mental and physical health isn't up to the holiday hubbub this year. If that's the case, you can gently yet firmly set boundaries and establish a more peaceful holiday season on your terms with phrases like:
- "I'm not up to visiting you all right now, but perhaps we can plan something after the New Year."
- "I love you all, but I'm going to spend a quiet Christmas at home this year."
- "Thank you for your invitation, but my calendar is full for the holidays."
What to Do When You Want to Skip the Holiday Festivities
It's okay to be honest and let loved ones know you aren't in a place physically or mentally where you can be your best self around family. If you want, you can offer to get together after the New Year, when things are quieter, and a friendly chat is a welcome distraction from the winter gloom.
Before you cancel, take a few minutes to self-evaluate why you don't want to go. Are you experiencing physical limitations? Is spending time around young children too hectic? Or are you worried about the financial cost? These are all valid reasons, but check in with yourself to make sure your desire to cancel isn't a sign of seasonal depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that can affect people of any age as they experience fewer daylight hours. Energy levels may dip, and you may start to feel down. You can combat "the winter blues" by getting at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day, whether by going for a walk or sitting in your garden. If you can't do that, you may benefit from using a sun lamp, which can be easily purchased online or in most major Arizona retail stores.
If you opt out of some of your Christmas plans, ensure you have a few things on the calendar to look forward to during the holidays. Schedule a time to see a few friends for a holiday cookie swap or attend an outing to see the Christmas lights up around Mesa or Chandler. You might even enjoy hot cocoa at home while watching your favorite holiday movie. These little activities can help you capture the magic of the holiday season without putting any pressure on yourself.
If you need a little extra help around the house this winter, talk to Senior Helpers of Tempe. We serve the communities of Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, and beyond to help seniors age in place. We're also available to help you over the holiday season. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation to learn more.