Have you ever sat back and just wondered where the years have gone? Ever found yourself thinking “I don’t want to grow old” and thought of getting older as a negative thing? One minute you seem to be cradling your young child in your arms and the next it seems you are being asked to babysit the grandchildren?
Although the years continue to creep, or sometimes speed, by it doesn’t mean you have to feel old. Here are a few tips to help keep yourself young in mind and spirit.
Remember you are never too old to try anything and nothing is ever too young for you to become involved in. Be happy!
At some stage in our lives we all lose someone we love and grief feels overbearing with no light on the horizon. As time passes however life does need to go on and you will need to look back and enjoy the memories without having to shut the person from your life for fear of your feelings. Losses can also be less hard than death such as the loss of old friends and neighbours as they move, loss of a steady income, loss of children and family as they move on in their lives but at the time you feel grief and pain. Here are some tips to help hold on to that silver lining that is on the horizon.
Cry if you feel like it. There is nobody you need to justify your feelings to. If you feel like a good cry then do so. Crying can bring feelings of relief and cleansing. Don't ever feel that crying is a sign of weakness, if anything it is a sign of strength showing your emotions, how you feel about the situation and can sometimes be a sign to others of your needs and support.
In the case of a lost loved one, before trying to move on make sure you have fulfilled any requests they may have made before passing away. This will take any burdens off your mind and will give you that sense of having supported and achieved their Will.
Understand that there are different processes and stages you need to pass through in your grieving. Sometimes you will experience a deep sadness, like depression. Other times you will feel anger at what happened. Waves of emotion can take over your thoughts. Denial at what has happened, thinking somehow perhaps you can turn back time. Eventually acceptance. You do need to keep in mind also that you may experience these different emotions like a roller coaster at different times for a long time after the loss. Just be aware and cope as the times come.
Look after yourself. Get plenty of exercise, eat properly and try to sleep as well as you can. Getting yourself sick is not going to help the situation and will only enhance your feelings of loss and grief. Your body will have less resistance to cope.
If it is not a death you are coping with try to put the loss into perspective. If it is the loss of your ability to sew or knit any longer work on other things you can do and move on. By keeping things in perspective you won't spend your whole time in a perpetual sense of misery which really will become overwhelming in times of a really serious loss.
Know that it will take time to accept your loss. Be patient and don't berate yourself if you have a relapse. Grief can be a lifetime journey and everyone is different in their reactions and time they take through the process.
Grieve at your own pace. Ignore people who either tell you that you should be grieving more (they often don't understand how you are coping with the situation) or those who tell you not to wallow in self-pity. It is your choice when you move on.
When you feel it is right look to the future. Make plans. Don't feel guilty that you have to move on. If the roles were reversed think how you might feel.
Coming home to an empty house or not being able to pick up that ball of wool, whatever the loss it can sometimes seem disproportionately great but whatever the circumstances you can survive and life will go on.
When you become a grandparent you tend to automatically assume your children will treat their children the way you expect. This may not be the case and what you need to remember is that these are not your children and not your rules! Here are some tips to remember in your role as a grandparent
Love but do not Own - Your grandchild is not yours and remember this. Your children will have lots of advice for you on what to do with their child and you will often do things they disapprove of. Keep quiet and do as you are told!
Connect but don’t Overpower - Just because you have a new grandchild don’t put a halt on your life. This will not only affect you but will also affect the parents and child. You can still have plenty of access and spend time you’re your new grandchild and continue your life as before unless you are required to help more or have been asked to perform certain duties.
Follow the Rules - New parents will set rules to be followed with regard to their child. Follow these even if you don’t agree! Do’s and don’ts change and what you may have done or not may be quite different with the next generation and with the internet nowadays there are so many opinions and rights and wrongs let your children guide you in their ways.
Your Opinion is Secondary - As much as you’d love to lay down the rules this little baby will be brought up by their parents and, as much as you love, both the parent and your new grandchild, you have no say so seal your lips. However much you would like your adult children will believe they know best and you don’t. If you offer advice be careful how you do it unless specifically asked for
Accept your Access - If the new mother is your daughter you may get more access in the early days to the baby. If the father is your child this may be restricted, don’t be pushy. If you butt in and give unwanted opinions you may well find your access is restricted even more!
Don’t try to Compete - Both sets of grandparents should make sure they work together with the new parents and enjoy the grandchild. Splashing out on bigger presents, wanting more access or appearing to want to be better than everyone else is not going to do you any favours.
Don’t Raise your Expectations - If you don’t expect too much you won’t be disappointed. You will no doubt have plenty of time to spend with your grandchild and be able to make it good quality time but even if the family move away or circumstances change just ensure that if you have less time keep it quality.
At the end of the day the most important thing is to enjoy the family and the new addition and remember you have that advantage of enjoying the good times and handing your grandchild back to continue enjoying your own life too!
Our passion is to support those older folk in our community by providing information and advice and we just love your feedback on this too!
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