As the holidays approach, many potential stressors can rob us of our joy, including seniors.

Money concerns, gift-giving pressure, family get-togethers, and the overall disruption in routine can cause older adults to feel anxious and overwhelmed. What’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year can quickly turn into the grumpiest time if seniors do nothing to disperse the pressure to be jolly.

December is National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month. While the holiday season should be a time for joy and celebration, the reality is that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is often filled with pressure and anxiety. This is true even for older adults. The effort it takes to create the perfect holiday celebration can leave seniors feeling exhausted and burnt out.

If the impending holidays have you feeling anxious and stressed, consider trimming your traditions. Here are four tips to help you keep the holidays simple while still making the season meaningful.

Downsize Your Decorations

Even though holiday decorations help set the mood for the season, the effort it takes to decorate a home can cause unnecessary stress. This year, downsize your holiday decor. Purchase a pre-lit, artificial miniature tree that can be placed on a table instead of fumbling around with a full-sized tree. Sort through your holiday decorations and only display a selection of meaningful pieces from your collection. Put a wreath on the front door and call the outside decorations complete. A few holiday decorations here and there set the tone of a simplified holiday season.

Simplify Gift Giving

It can be challenging for many seniors to navigate busy stores, especially when they are packed with seasonal merchandise. Other older adults may be avoiding shopping in person altogether to avoid the risk of COVID. Keep the holidays stress-free this year by simplifying your gift-giving. Purchase gift cards instead of stressing over the perfect present. Gift an ornament or other sentimental holiday decor from your collection as you work towards downsizing your decorations. When in doubt, most gift receivers appreciate a check or cash to spend at their own discretion.

Participate in Only Meaningful Traditions

In this day and age, there are multiple holiday activities and events that have somehow made their way to the “must-do” list. However, not every holiday tradition holds equal meaning, especially for older adults. This year, pick the few meaningful traditions into which your pour your time and effort. Whether it’s decorating sugar cookies with your grandchildren or attending a religious service, choosing to simplify how you spend your time this season can significantly reduce your stress.

Remember What’s Essential

Finally, keep the holidays simple by remembering what’s essential. When you think about the holiday season, ponder what’s most important to you. For many, the essential is spending time with family and friends. Before the busyness of the holiday season sets in, write down what’s essential to you this holiday season and keep it somewhere where you’ll see it every day. Let go of traditions that you no longer enjoy. Say “no” to invitations that don’t excite you. Build a simple holiday around what truly matters to you.

If you’re a senior who is currently exploring alternatives to nursing home care, let Senior Living Solutions help simplify your search. Our mission is to relieve the stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living options for our clients. We offer complimentary assistance locating as well as several vital senior living planning and moving services. Please get in touch with us today by calling 501-650-3013 to schedule your appointment.