There are many different reasons you may celebrate the holidays away from family. For example, your relatives may live in another state or country and can’t make the long journey. Or, like everyone else in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to cancel travel plans and rethink your holiday traditions.
Celebrating the holidays away from family is likely not at the top of anyone’s list, but this year we’re all doing what we can. Here are a few ways to keep the holidays extraordinary and take care of yourself during this year.
6 Tips for Seniors Celebrating the Holidays Alone
1. Make Your Favorite Holiday Treats
For many people and families, food is a central piece of holiday traditions. Just because you won’t be celebrating in a large group this year doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite treats! If possible, set up a video call with your loved ones so you can make the goodies “together” virtually. You can chat, give them baking tips, and then enjoy your delicious treats with one another — even if it is through a screen.
2. Create Homemade Gifts for Loved Ones
There’s nothing like a homemade craft or card during the holidays. If you can, make a small gift by hand or write a thoughtful card for your kids, grandkids, friends, neighbors, or anyone in your life who could use a little more holiday cheer.
Another great idea is to send these to a local children’s hospital — they’d love to share some cards and well-wishes with their young patients during the holiday season. Have some fun with it and enjoy the feeling of helping someone else, too!
3. Watch Your Favorite Holiday Programs
From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to classic Christmas shows like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” many holiday traditions involve these timeless shows. Make time to watch your favorites this holiday season, and tell your loved ones when you’ll be watching — you can always chat about your favorite moments after the show is over. We still love it when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes!
4. Find Time Each Day for Self-Care
No matter how many virtual visits you plan for this holiday season, it’s bound to feel hard at some points. Plan time to take care of yourself each day. Set aside some time for meditation, prayer, or even deep breathing to stay present and take care of yourself and your mind. Make sure you do something you love every day, too! That’s a surefire way to keep your spirits up throughout the holiday season.
5. Prioritize Physical Activity
This might be slightly more difficult as the weather turns colder, but moving your body each day can help you improve your mental health. Whether you go for a walk around the block, down the hallway, or even just a few laps of your apartment, make sure you spend some time moving each day. Turn on some of your favorite music and dance in your living room if you need. Not only will you be moving your body, but you’ll undoubtedly be smiling by the end!
If you’re looking for more ways to stay active, Deupree House’s Wellness Director Chloe Hough has also developed a series of wellness videos demonstrating fun, at-home exercises. New videos are released every Wednesday, so tune in for your weekly dose of wellness tips!
6. Join Virtual Gatherings
Another great way to keep spirits high and keep involved is by joining virtual groups. Fran Turner, a resident at Deupree House’s sister community, Marjorie P. Lee in Cincinnati, OH, was on the Episcopal Retirement Services’ podcast in September, and she shared some wonderful ways she was staying connected with her loved ones and community. One thing she mentioned was using Zoom to attend a virtual morning retreat each day. It allows her a way to connect with others and brightly start her day. Find something or somewhere you enjoy and find a way to connect virtually.
While the holiday season might look a little different this year, there are still many ways to continue enjoying the spirit of the season! From virtual gatherings to video calls to continuing holiday traditions, you can assuredly celebrate to a great extent this year. Please remember to prioritize your mental and physical health. Keep active, do things you love, and know that we’re all in this together.