Overcoming the Seasonal Blues

Emotions can grow strong around the holidays but there is help

The “holiday blues” affect many people around this time of year and that is especially true among people in senior living. Although the holiday season is typically a time of celebration, in some situations they can also evoke a wide range of emotions from disappointment to depression or even anger. Varieties of stressors are behind these seasonal low spirits but here are some techniques for reducing their impact:

Feelings of Neglect or Loneliness

These two feelings can be magnified around the holiday season as memories of holidays gone by surface. Getting involved with others in meaningful activities such as peers at a community center or volunteering at a charitable organization can lessen their effect. The memories themselves may start lifting your spirits if you look at them from a different perspective.

Broaden your involvement in social groups that match your interests, meet new people and explore new opportunities. If you are enjoying yourself in the present, you will remember all the good times you have had in the past. Finding a furry friend as an at-home companion can provide more long-term support. Older pets can be adopted easily from an animal shelter and can be relaxing.

Friends or Family Members Who Have Passed Away

Painful reminders of loved ones who have passed away can intensify around the holidays. Their absence is more noticeable. Remember the good times you had with them instead of focusing on the loss. Sharing photographs and stories with others about these memories may help alleviate the sadness, while building new memories.

Do not hesitate to consult your caregiver or a medical professional if these feelings become overwhelming. Emotions and memories can become overpowering any time of year and a professional can provide guidance, support and suggest additional resources.

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