Six Ways to Shorten Those Blues

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11

Good day readers!

As I took down Christmas decorations from the tree, I was hit with a with a sense of the ‘blues.’ It used to be so much fun to go picking out a tree, which is the biggest, greenest, fullest? Then putting on the ornaments that they had made  or passed along…all to the sound of laughter, talking, sharing, singing. I also remember the shopping, cooking, opening presents, sharing news, going to services together as well as the photos and memories that are made each year. Presently it is just myself, and hubby, and maybe one of the kids if they are around. The holidays are always a special time though and I am grateful for when the kids were all home as well as now, even though they are different. However, I was thinking about dealing with those blues that may hit us now and then, especially around the holidays.

Older people don’t get to see their family often and after the holidays, many feel the “blues”, or feel down.
One article I read said that it was normal to have blues after the holidays. Sometimes they remind us things we’d rather not remember, like relatives always tending to start ‘fights’.

Sometimes those blues become more serious and last longer than just seasonal period.  Whereas it may be normal for anyone to get the ‘blues’ now and then, when it starts to last longer than it should then it is time to take a few steps to alleviate or relieve them. Perhaps some support or encouragement or other activity to help one move on. I looked at a few different sources, one of which is listed.  Let’s talk about some of the steps one can take to help get through those ‘post holiday blues.’ (http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holiday-blues#Overview1)


  1. Realize that this is normal. No Christmas will ever be the same as it was when all the kids were home and we can’t expect the kids to be little forever. We need to adjust our expectations and not keep striving for that ‘perfect’ Christmas holiday every single year, or strive to make it even better than the one last year.  Not those desires are wrong at all, it is always nice to make them special and memorable.  However, much as we want to; we can’t keep hanging on to idealistically making them all just like they used to be. Life changes, kids grow and change, and thus holiday events or seasons change too and we cannot stop that from happening. Instead make each celebration unique and original, they can be similar but they can also be special and different.  It is likewise typical for families to have members with conflicting viewpoints about different issues that are bound to clash during this time of family togetherness. We can try to minimize them, but if they do happen; it is good to realize than it is normal for many families.
  2. Give yourself time to rest and unwind from the holidays.  They are stressful for everyone, schedules are hectic, time is short and seemingly rushed.  Make sure you get some good nights of sleep, even go to bed a little earlier if needed for a few days.  Relax and go easy on yourself to de-stress and recuperate.
  3. Try to eat healthy and more normally.  Healthier foods like fruits, nuts, and ‘high in vitamin B’ type foods help your body feel better and affect the mood (good for nervous system) as well as depression. Attempt to avoid excessive alcohol  as it is an depressant.
  4. Start a new hobby or plan a fun activity for January.  Something new like growing flowers indoors, learning to journal, taking a class to learn a new craft,or learning a new language will stimulate your mind and give you a new focus . Starting a new activity gives you a new purpose and helps one overcome the ‘holiday blues.’
  5. Reach out to help someone else in need.  Those of us who are more mobile can make a visit to an older friend or neighbor who is alone.  Give them a call or have coffee together.  Volunteer to help at church or some other community activity.  Focusing on someone else not only helps you, it helps the person you spend time with.
  6. Lastly, but not least because it is not easy; accept and let go. Continually thinking of unpleasant situations only tends to build up anxiety unnecessarily.  When dark thoughts start, do something to stop them…Take a walk, talk to a friend, listen to upbeat music, read affirming and encouraging verses of scriptures, collect affirming quotes or cards.  Even take it a step further and give some to someone else who needs encouragement or affirmation.  If you can’t shake it, by all means go to a doctor for a check up, or talk to a trusted friend.  Perhaps have the friend call a counselor or pastor if you cannot.  The important thing is to take care of it.  Prayer is also a very great tool for refocusing, peace, comfort, strength etc. It works wonders.

Here’s for a more peaceful, encouraging,  and blessed 2017!

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

Free share:  Here is a pin of my favorite Bible reading system.  Try it and enjoy!

Work to Eat

WORK TO EAT

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat” 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Good day C.O.S. readers!

Last year, my hubby was thinking about retiring.  He had severe hip pain which made it impossible for him to do his job.  The doctor was trying to get him to put off surgery for as long as possible.  When he went to the doctor, he agreed however, that it was time.  Well, since he had to have surgery, why not make it time to retire?  Since we are not exactly the same age though, it would be more financially practical to wait till I was also ready to retire and then do it together.

Apparently we(hubby and I) are nearing the end of our working years of life, that is the career by which one supports oneself and makes a living. For us it is a big step and one we could not even imagine some almost 40 years ago…wow! has it really been that long?  Even though we approach retirement, my hubby has a pension and Social security, but still we wonder, will it be enough? Are we really ready for this?  Is there some type of part time job we could get to supplement our income and/or work at home to earn some income. These are options we are presently exploring.

For the most part, I have been a stay at home mom the majority of my married years. Yes, I did work when we married for several years, but then hubby changed jobs and we had to move to different city, so I quit at the time. I decided it was a good time to go back to college and finish my degree which I did. Hubby was gone a lot traveling in his job so I had plenty of time. I enjoy studying and reading, so even though I felt old amidst all the younger students and it was pretty intense in the quarter system, I finished my degree and did well. I could have started substitute teaching then, but by the time I finished and graduated, discovered I was pregnant with our first child. I would have had to start work about the time the child was due and I really didn’t want to try to juggle going to work full time as well as caring for a newborn.

Hubby’s job was going well and we could support ourselves on one income, so I decided I’d rather be full time mom and give our child my full attention because she deserved that. I was a new mom and wanted to learn to do my best with that before taking on other obligations. We ended up with four children and decided to home school them. Homeschooling and maintaining a household is a job in itself, and although I did get offered a job during those years; I still didn’t seen the point of in essence just working to send my kids to school, when they could be taught at home. It seemed it would be less stressful for the family if I just stayed home and taught the kids, had our own schedule and adapted a bit to when  hubby worked.  He was doing fine job wise and though we tried to be thrifty and a couple times tried out multi-level marketing; for the most part we survived as a one income family. Once again right now, the kids are grown and have jobs of their own. I am presently working part time as a substitute and my husband has only a couple years left to retire.

What are our options at this point? A pension, and social security as long as it lasts. Medicare kicks in at 65 also. But we have a good sized house and we are thinking it might be time to downsize that also. Perhaps we might need some financial advice on how to handle our retirement income. Maybe we can start by slowly  cutting back on certain costs so as to start putting more toward retirement.  Make sure the house is paid off first, take care of any college bills, cut back on credit cards, etc. Has anyone heard of Financial Peace? That is an organization with great information to help one get out of debt. Yes, those are probably some of the first steps we need to be working on.

We are more than willing to do our part whenever we can to work and earn our living, even if the means are changing.  Being responsible and was in the use of ones’s funds is important too.  In the future we can discuss more specifically about the different areas we need to work. If you have any suggestions or recommendations of what has worked for you, let us know.  More to come in later posts!

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”

To Exercise or not to Exercise?

To Exercise..or Not?

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” ! Corinthians 6: 19-20

Hello Colors of Sunset readers,

Recently  one morning I woke up as usual, and my knee was so stiff and sore, I could hardly move it. What’s the deal here?  I don’t consider myself a ‘couch potatoe’ or anything  and didn’t remember having done anything out of the ordinary. Physical activity like going to a gym is something I have always enjoyed.  So why all of a sudden do I have difficulty getting out of bed and just taking a step? Someone told me it was all part of the normal aging process. That may be, but not all older people have physical ailments, or do they?

I was considered somewhat of a tomboy when I was younger. I much preferred to be doing something active to sitting around playing with dolls or putting on makeup. In high school my sisters and I always earned those Presidential Awards for physical fitness that were offered as incentive in our PE classes. After college, I took up jogging and got a gym membership for a short while. I jogged during most of my first pregnancy and after that it was basically walking with the kids or doing work out videos at home. Now with kids grown I have joined a gym again but the monthly payments are much too expensive. Since we need to start saving more for retirement, we need to look for a less expensive gym.

Another consideration is that naturally as my hubby and I get older, we try to remain in as good as health as possible and take care of our bodies so we live a long healthy life. We don’t want to be a burden on others. Be that as it may, I’m finding out that my body does not seem to want to cooperate as well. It seems that even doing the most routine type of exercise that I am accustomed to, the body protests the next morning with aching stiff joints that will not move as easily as they used to.  No one in my family has knee issues, back issues yes, but not knee problems. The doctor gave me the news that my knee caps don’t stay centered and there is no more cartilage in my knees; so the ultimatum was exercise or surgery. Ugh!

Hubby just had hip replacement surgery which went well and he has recovered nicely. My knees decided to act up because I was doing extra work at home helping hubby recover. So what is the best way to keep shape for an aging body? What about the Silver Fit or SilverSneakers programs? Some health insurances will pay for gym memberships to seniors 65 and older in good health or under 65 with medical disabilities. Or perhaps get your own treadmill or cross trainer machines to help you exercise at home. If you have a pet, walking your dog daily or twice a day is good for you and your pet. But then I have also seen a lot of seniors at the gym who go to classes there together or exercise together. It seems going to the gym has become a great way meet others in the same boat.

I know of some other friends who have started doing races where you walk/run for certain distances, 5K, 10K, half-marathons, or whatever they can handle. They can support and encourage each other and it is more fun to do it with someone. You even get to practice to help each other get in shape. You can encourage and support each other in the process and build relationships. Even Park and Recreation sites or Senior Centers in the city offer classes that don’t cost too much, like tennis or swimming, even dancing. My 80 something year old dad learned dancing that way. He is in pretty good shape physically to the point he still mows his lawn and walks his dog regularly.

What do you do regularly for exercise or how do you keep physically fit and active?  The more I look, the more different options I find that are open to seniors and if one doesn’t work, then find another. What works for you or do you just exercise at home? There are many ways to get exercise and be able to spent time socializing as well. Happy exercising and maybe I’ll see you at the gym!

It is never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot

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Welcome!

Hello there and welcome to Colors of Sunset!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands….In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and make its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. Psalm 19 :1, 4-6

Thanks and welcome to my site! Hope all enjoyed a blessed Christmas and New Year’s season. I am a little excited and a little nervous too to be starting this new adventure in my life.  Glad to have you as a part of it. I have been considering blogging for a while and it seems now is a good time as any start. As far as the title, Colors of Sunset; it seems appropriate for the subject of this blog. I have now hit the 6th decade of life and for some people, one might think;”oh no, life is over”; but I am a non-conformist and I refuse to just give in to what every one else may think. Sunsets have the most colors before the sun retires and in different places the effects of the sun setting are even more stunning. I prefer to think of this decade as the beginning of a sunset and I can’t wait to see what marvelous things are to be seen as a sun begins its descent for the day. Covering different aspects and life changes that come are like the colors of the sunset! Join me in learning to enjoy the colors of the approaching sunset and feel free to share with me some of the highlights of yours as well.

Some 20 years back I would never have imagined doing this and it didn’t even cross my mind 10 yrs. ago, but here we are at the beginning of the sixties in my life, I see some exciting possibilities. I remember when I reached 50, I sent an email out to some friends asking for their advice, tips, encouragement upon reaching the 50’s. They responded with words of encouragement, how they were coping, friendly advice and counsel. I appreciated that a lot. Now Blogging has arrived and I can do much more than just send out an email. I can connect with innumerable people and we can share, support, encourage, give ideas, share hobbies, as well as advise each other. The possibilities are endless.

So what kind of things exactly are we looking forward to; in retirement for example, how does that work?

Well for starters, early retirement or late?

Does the budget change and how do we manage financially? Maybe we should just take a part time job for several years before we totally ease into retirement?

Do we downsize our house, move out of state, live close to kids or live in a community?

Should we start new hobbies, join clubs or take classes for enrichment and learning?

What’s the best way to take care of ourselves physically? Should we join a gym and watch what we eat? or ‘go for all the gusto we can’while we can?

Should my hubby and I do it all together, or should he be involved in his own activities and I in mine?

If you are a widow or single, how do you stay connected or how to connect again after losing your spouse?

These are just a few of the many decisions and adjustments my spouse and I have to consider years ahead. It is good to have a support system in place for the changes coming. Perhaps it is a church group, your neighborhood, or family that live close by.

Then again, how do we keep our minds sharp and stay spiritually attuned?

What’s the best place to shop for clothes for seniors, and/or get haircuts, perms, etc?

Is it better to shop and cook for oneself or do we take advantage of senior discounts in the restaurants?

There are many paths we can go and explore to learn. I am sure that as I search and question; more issues and topics will across our path that we can ‘walk on’ to see where they go. I am happy to be on this adventure with you!

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must but take the step.” Quote from the berry.com

A free share: Here is a pin of my favorite Bible reading system.  Try it, and enjoy!