The holidays are filled with time-honoured traditions for many families, but when life transitions occur – as they inevitably will, embracing a new approach to celebrations and lifestyle can be liberating. Midlife and beyond are filled with changes as children grow into adulthood and leave the nest, marriages may change or dissolve, and elderly parents require more care or reach the end of life. Some transitions are voluntary, and many are not, but these major shifts in our life stories can be an opportunity to uncover our truest selves and live more authentically.
Changing careers, ending a relationship, facing illness, or making a significant move can be a frightening undertaking that can leave people feeling paralyzed. During the holiday season, the effort of trying to make everything appear normal can lead to stress and anxiety. But with a shift in mindset and routine, gradually people can begin to enter a new phase of life and thrive. It may start with a new menu for Christmas dinner, or a Hanukkah tradition from childhood revisited. A new beginning can start with small shifts in habits that promote health, purpose, balance, and ingenuity.
Tapping into creativity is often helpful in forging a new life path. Writing, cooking, painting or creating music allows us to dig into our true nature. After years spent trying to meet the expectations of others, a life transition can be an opportunity to write a new chapter – one that has personal value and meaning that can lead to some of the most wonderful moments.
Experiencing a shift in life? Keeping a few traditions, welcoming new ones, and seeking out the company of a few supportive people can help bring a little cheer into the holiday season during times of transition without adding stress. Go outside for a walk in the snow, bake a holiday favourite, or treat yourself to a new bestseller. Prioritizing sleep and a healthy diet can also promote greater well-being, preventing the demands of the season from becoming overwhelming. Small, positive choices over time can yield amazing outcomes.
Learn more about cultivating midlife resilience by following this link to a recent Ageist podcast featuring hospitality entrepreneur and bestselling author, Chip Conley.