December 1, 2023
“Tis the season to be jolly,” is what the weather and the carols tell us, but this can be easier said than done. Many people get the holiday blues, and older adults are no exception, especially if they are dealing with health issues or the loss of loved ones. The holiday season can trigger those memories on a more frequent basis, and these last few years with the pandemic have left many spending the holidays alone. When someone you know feels blue this holiday season, it is more important than ever to surround them with love and positivity.
Here are some tips that can help brighten the day and spirits of your loved ones:
- Involve Your Loved One: If their health allows it, include them in holiday plans and invite them to participate. This can include baking cookies, shopping or decorating the house! Help them find volunteer opportunities where they can share their talents.
- Start New Holiday Traditions: As we age, it may become more difficult to participate in all the “normal” traditions you were once used to. Rather than giving up on important traditions, you can modify them. For example, start a tradition of having your loved one tell their favorite childhood holiday memories.
- Emotional Wellness: If the holiday blues persist, we should make an effort to keep an extra eye on our loved ones. There are many ways to cope with stress that are productive and not harmful. Alcohol consumption is a common way people deal with stress or sorrow, but mixing alcohol with medications can lead to negative outcomes. Instead, try and direct loved ones to more positive outlets. Attending faith services, volunteering at local food pantries or meditating are all positive avenues to dealing with holiday blues.
There are many ways to keep the post-holiday blues away. Make plans, be active and continue to connect with your loved ones this holiday season.