Growing older is both a blessing and a curse. While you are past needing to climb every mountain and swim every sea for the most part and don’t suffer as much from FOMO (that’s Fear of Missing Out, if acronyms aren’t your thing), it can be hard to keep oneself open to the sort of human connection we all need for our mental health. This is complicated further by the coronavirus, which keeps people further away from the relationships that currently sustain them.

Here at Medicine Box, we’re all about holistic health. If one thing goes bad, then everything else is sure to follow. Families are usually good at maintaining our mental and emotional health, when they work correctly. But they can also add to deeper stress and heartache when those connections go dark. So as we enter into a particularly challenging holiday season, here’s some pointers how you can maintain a virtual family.

 

RECOGNIZE ANY GROUP CAN BECOME A FAMILY

Amongst millennials and post-millennial generations, there’s much talk of the “chosen family” – meaning developing strong ties with friends and mentors which take the place of people one shares blood ties to. Most often, they are applied to LGBTQIA+ people or certain subcultures, but they do not have to be exclusive to them. Matter of fact, 64% of LGBTQIA+ baby boomers rely on such groups. Even if your bonds with your own family are strong — if a little distant — it does help to recognize what bonds already exist in your life that you can make stronger, with a little nourishment. 


Keep an open mind

As your children shift away from you, they will make their own decisions on their own terms. Already, there are advice pieces being shared on social media about how to let the family down easy should they decide not to come home for the holidays. It may hurt to be on the receiving end of this, but the point is, especially in this specific year, they’re doing it most likely so that there can be another one they can enjoy next year.

Because they do still love you, even if they are not physically present or available. It might make sense to ask them what they miss most about the gatherings you have grown accustomed to — and how you can create the sorts of traditions that everyone can agree to.

The importance of human connection
Finding the right balance

 

MAINTAIN APPOINTMENTS

Regardless, it’s still important to maintain the ties, even if in exile, as best as possible, Since the pandemic, my mother spends much of her time taking care of her 95-year-old father. Before the pandemic, she visited her nieces and grand-nieces weekly. She’s since stopped the physical visits, but she still maintains contact with them. She has taken on the role of an educator with them, and doesn’t want those lessons to disappear because of COVID. Somewhere out there, there’s someone who needs what you have to offer as well. Can’t let that die on the vine.

 

KEEP YOURSELF MENTALLY FIT

Let me be clear: WE have to take charge of our physical, mental and spiritual health at this time, no matter how young or old. And we should all be sovereign over our health. Taking charge means not only eating right and keeping as active as possible, but living one’s life by what we call the Seven Pillars: Music, Nature, Food, Mindfulness, Collaboration, Community and Recovery. To supplement this, Medicine Box has created the 1CaB Healing Suite of Botanical Formulations to assist in the sleep, gut health and sustainable energy that you will need to keep it together. We invite you to sample it now, while we still have a 50% sale off of every tincture in our online store. We hope it will assist you or anyone you gift it to this holiday season in 2021.