Barbara Fradkin – FLORIDA TODAY

Q:  Life’s hard.  How can I be more grateful at the holidays?

A: It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and the holidays are upon us! Sure, there were challenges to deal with this year. But, hurricane season is just about over, the delightful Florida winter is coming and the Artemis rocket is scheduled to launch. Yay! We have a lot to be grateful for, and showing gratitude helps boost our physical health, mental health and social well-being.

Many of us are still experiencing pandemic fatigue. But we have all started to reconnect with our families, friends and communities. Being grateful helps us to recharge mentally, too. Gratitude requires a conscious effort to slow down and really take notice. Practicing gratitude helps us appreciate not only the things that are going well, but also lends a sense of perspective to negative situations, providing the opportunity for ultimately changing them to positives.

As we get older, we experience losses and everyday annoyances that can frustrate us or make us sad, angry, or even resentful. When things are going well in our lives, it is easy to express gratitude on a daily basis. But when things are not so hot, showing gratitude can be a challenge. Why not try this exercise for practicing gratitude: Write thank-you notes to people who have made a difference in your life. As you write each note, you’ll discover that you are truly thinking with a grateful heart. After I meet with a family and they send me a nice note, it reminds me why I became a social worker.

Giving back is a form of gratitude, too. At One Senior Place, our community partners show us gratitude every day by helping sponsor events, and sharing their good fortune by donating items in times of need. This holiday season, One Senior Place in Viera will again put up our Brevard TRIAD Senior Santa tree. Come pick a Santa off the tree and buy something for a needy or lonely senior in a long-term care home. On December 2nd, you’ll have an opportunity to help us support the Central Brevard Sharing Center, at our Tea & Fashion Show fundraiser. You can bid on beautiful, themed raffle baskets and browse the pop-up boutique. Check the events calendar on for more details. We hope to see you during the holiday season, to share in the gratitude we all feel helping others. As William Arthur Ward wrote, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  Happy Holidays!


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging.

Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker and a Certified Care Manager for One Senior Place in Viera.