A guide to having a happy Christmas with your family
Article by Jane Sandwood
Christmas is a time for families to be together, but the majority of elderly adults in the UK are likely to be all alone during this time. According to a recent survey, more than 500,000 people over the age of 65 are on their own during the Christmas holidays. Moreover, most of them are used to being lonely as around 250,000 older adults say that this is a normal part of life for them. It’s important to be present during family celebrations and special holidays as being constantly isolated can have a negative impact on your mental health. Moreover, making sure that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest family member, is present during the holidays can result in a joyous and memorable occasion for everyone. To ensure a happy and stress-free Christmas, here’s a guide to spending the festive period with your family.
Get into the holiday spirit
Getting into the holiday spirit can be difficult if you’re stressed about finances or if you’re simply not in the mood to celebrate. However, being positive and happy is a choice that we make for ourselves. Your happiness isn’t based on anyone’s approval or expectations– it is based on your genuine desire to feel good about your life and where you are at this moment. So this Christmas, forget about your troubles for the moment and choose to be happy. Play with the grandkids or read them a story. Talk to your younger relatives and find out what the kids are up to these days. The more you engage, the more you find yourself being caught up in the holiday spirit.
Head out of the house with the young ones
If you want to head out of the house for a bit of fresh air, bring some of the kids with you to a Christmas event or festival, or go for a cup of hot cocoa at your favourite coffee shop. It’s a great way to spend some time with the grandchildren, and it can be an ongoing tradition that you share with them each year. If you’re going outside with younger kids, make sure that they’re dressed warmly and that they have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable. For instance, children with food allergies will need to have their medication with them, so make sure that you or another adult who’s coming with you knows how to administer an Epi-pen in case of an emergency.
Don’t be afraid to get some ‘me’ time
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to be in the presence of so many well-meaning family members, so if you need to take a breather, then by all means, do so. Retreat to the porch for a cup of tea, or have a nap or a massage if you need it. You can also watch an episode of your favourite TV show, or ask a relative to recommend a good Netflix show that you can watch. Do what makes you feel calm and happy, and look after your own needs so you can feel recharged and energised this holiday season.
The holidays are the best time to be surrounded by the people that you love the most. By getting into the holiday spirit, spending time with your loved ones, and by giving yourself a break when you need it, you can have a happy Christmas this year, and in the years to follow.
After Christmas if you find you are on your own and would like the support of our Befriending & Reablement Service then please contact us on 01704 542 993.
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.