October 20, 2020

How a retiree can survive a vacation


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Taking a vacation can be exciting and fun, but it can also be exhausting or lonely for some. Retirees need to keep in mind some simple but helpful tips for making their holiday more enjoyable and less stressful.

1. Keep your focus on the reason for taking a vacation. If you are taking one during a festive season, no matter what your religion is, it is a time of celebration and spiritual refreshment. The beginning of a new year can be a time of new commitments, new beginnings and new opportunities. Festive vacations offer a reminder and a chance to reorder our priorities and make the most of each day. Adjusting our perspective in light of spiritual teachings can bring brightness and hope into our daily lives throughout the coming year.

2. Pace yourself. Many people arrive at the actual holiday too exhausted from preparations to actually enjoy the day. Many people find it helpful to limit the amount of time and energy spent on any part of the preparations for the vacation at a given time. Some people structure their days to shop for two hours, then rest for one hour, and then do another task. It is also important to pace yourself in terms of activities and events. Sometimes, what we need most is control over our time and activities. If you are becoming overwhelmed by the array of events and activities and you find that your schedule is filling rapidly, you might do well to make some choices. Limiting your activities to the most important events might help you pace yourself and prevent the exhaustion that can drain the fun from everything.

3. Don’t be alone unless you want to be. Taking a vacation can be very sad and depressing for those who find themselves alone. If you don’t have family or friends nearby with whom you plan to spend part of the holiday, you can still spend the day with others. Check in your community for gatherings of others who would otherwise be alone. Even better, find a community opportunity to help others on the holiday. Most communities have programmes that offer meals to the homeless and needy. You can be with others and feel wonderful about the way you spend the day by volunteering to help with preparation and serving of the meals.

4. Don’t lose sight of the budget. Overspending when off on vacation is very easy. But it can create a lot of stress when the bills start to arrive afterwards, especially if you have taken your holiday during a festive season. It is so much fun making purchases of gifts for children and grandchildren that the budget can easily be forgotten. Be honest and realistic about what you can afford to spend on gifts and entertaining. Then stick to the budget. Keep in mind that a modestly priced gift that fits the recipient can mean more than the most expensive new thing available. Some families manage spending by setting clear limits on the cost of gifts for the adults in the family. This allows them to spend more on the younger children. Be creative in thinking about holiday spending and try to keep your focus on the right gift for each individual rather than the most expensive.

5. Don’t lose sight of your dietary needs. Many of us have special dietary needs as we grow older. Whether we are just eating smart or we are watching sugars, fats and cholesterol, many of us need to maintain a healthy diet especially during the holidays. In most cases, it is okay to splurge a bit at a festive dinner or party if we adjust our diets during the rest of the day to keep our overall diet within bounds. Remember that making yourself sick by ignoring your dietary needs will not make the vacation more enjoyable for you or those around you.

I hope all the above has been helpful. Get the greatest possible enjoyment and renewal from your vacation whenever it is. By keeping things in perspective and monitoring spending and diet, you will probably enjoy the holidays more. Pace yourself and remember, Georgina will be joining you soon. She has to slow down, too. Retiring age hits us all.

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