8 Tips to Enjoy the Holidays and Avoid Depression
The holidays are fun and often hyped up as the best time of the year. However, some might feel contrary to that opinion. Many times aging adults can get lost in the hustle and bustle, and before you know it, the holidays are over and mom or dad are alone, again. Holiday season is wonderful, but we need to remember not to leave older adults alone.
Talking to mom or dad during the holiday season is essential. How can you help them feel that once the last decoration is down that they will not be alone for the long winter months ahead?
8 Quick Tips to Help Parents NOT feel alone during and after the holiday season.
Get a plan with friends or family. Set out a quick plan that is not overwhelming and is enjoyable simultaneously. Plan dinner with friends and then maybe a movie to do something in the cold of the winter. Creating a plan and mapping out social time can give you something to look forward to and not feel lonely or bored as the holidays come to a close.
Create a new event or tradition with friends or family that carries on after the holiday. Sometimes what brings our spirits down is traditions that have run their course and do nothing but make us feel obligated to do them and sad. How about a holiday potluck with friends and a drive viewing the holiday lights? We need to deviate from the same old things sometimes. What about a tradition that you gather with friends with holiday leftovers and create a new meal? There are many options to change things up so you can incorporate some new traditions and ideas. Creating new traditions allows you to gain a new energy and a new purpose to look forward to the holiday season. Try it!
Keep expectations in check. Don’t get caught up in expecting the Norman Rockwell painting type of Christmas. Nothing is perfect, and you need to not set yourself up for sadness or failure. Expect a nice time during the holidays, and you won’t be overly sad if it goes a little off the path. Sometimes weather changes our plans and things do get canceled; so if you keep that in check, you won’t be totally disappointed during the holiday season when a planned trip changes a little bit.
Lean on your friends and family to avoid isolation. Being alone can be a welcomed break during or post the holiday madness; however, it can be depressing too. Making calls and plans with friends and family can give you something to look forward to and not feel alone. During the holidays there are plenty of things to do, but what do you do when the holiday festivities are over? It is important to check on your aging parents and make sure they are staying social. There are proven correlations between socialization and aging with good health and grace.
Find new ways to celebrate loved ones who have passed. The holidays can be a reminder of the loved ones that are no longer celebrating the holiday season with you. In addition, sometimes we need to create new traditions that bring happiness to the memories or traditions that are no longer celebrated. Find a new way to remember the ones that have passed. For example, gather for a dinner at a favorite restaurant of the loved one missing and reminisce about the good times. Missing loved ones at the holidays can be emotional and finding new ways to remember those gone, can help you cope with some of the sadness.
Don’t over commit. Take a breather and just enjoy the Peace of the Season! Many times we get busy with parties, friends, families, and past co-workers; we forget to enjoy the season of the holidays. Take time to unwind and watch a holiday movie or read a nice book and enjoy relaxing too. Make sure to keep your calendar active and busy, but not too busy that you dread going somewhere. In addition, once the holidays are over, don’t let all the activities subside and leave you feeling alone. A good balance between activities and rest is the perfect New Year’s resolution.
Exercise and eat sensibly. The holiday temptations to over indulge in tasty treats and drinks are amazing and sometimes a bit dangerous to our health and midsection. The holiday season provides a chance to try new things and revisit old holiday traditions of food and drink. However, you do not have to say “no” every time, but have smaller portions of the holiday treats. Find a friend to walk with or help keep you accountable during and after the holiday season. Also, celebrate your success. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you finish a nice workout with friends or by yourself. Remember rewarding your great exercise success is not two slices of chocolate cake. Moderation is key. Keep your diet and exercise in balance. By balancing them, you will feel refreshed and energized during and following the holidays.
Laugh and enjoy the little things. Nothing helps you stay healthier and happier than a good laugh. According to many studies laughter boosts your immune system, helps you stay positive, and have a feeling of hope. Laughter also helps keep your heart healthy and helps you live longer. Aging is a wonderful thing that sometimes has its challenges. Take time to enjoy the journey.
Looking for more suggestions or helpful guides to age in a healthy and graceful manner? Contact us at Continuing Healthcare Solutions to learn more about the next phase of life. We are here to help you as you transition into the next stages of life with comfort and dignity. Call us today!