As the excitement and hubbub of the holiday season draws to a close, many of us are more than ready for some peace and quiet. But along with that quiet often comes a feeling that things are, well, a little too quiet. Post-holiday blues are a common result of the transition from the busy, fun-filled holidays to the humdrum routine that follows. For many seniors who are far from their families and friends during the year, these feelings are intensified and can lead to depression.
At Bridgeway Senior Living, our residents’ days are filled with activities and outings all year-round. But there is still a feeling of let-down after the holidays end.
Here’s what you can do to keep those feelings of loneliness at bay:
Get together with loved ones.
Who says get-togethers are only for the holidays? One of the best ways to shake off the winter doldrums is by spending time with family and friends. Plan a fun outing to a local museum, go window shopping together, or just invite some friends to your residence if it’s difficult to get out. Phone calls, emails, and Skyping with family members who don’t live close by is also a great way to keep the warm holiday feelings going.
Make a resolution for the new year.
Nothing to look forward to but the dreary winter months ahead? Spark your vitality with feelings of accomplishment. Take on a small, manageable goal and work towards it with bite-sized steps. It can be organizing one room of your home, getting your advanced directive up to date, or even getting more sleep.
Take care of yourself.
When the body feels good, the mood follows suit. Now that the holiday season, with its rich foods, late parties, and extra drinks has come to an end, it’s the perfect time to make positive changes to keep your body healthy.
Learn something new.
Besides being useful, learning a new skill is fun and has been proven to enhance cognitive health. Whether it’s learning something new about technology, taking up painting, or anything else, learning a new skill can infuse you with energy!
Create something to remember the holidays.
Scrapbooking or creating a memory book is a great way to capture the magic of the holiday season and bottle it up for the long winter ahead. If this is your first holiday season since the passing of a loved one, a scrapbook filled with memories of past holidays can help ease the pain.
Volunteer or give back.
What better way to feel good than by making others feel good? There are many opportunities to volunteer in every community. Try your local hospital, homeless shelter, or animal shelter for ideas. It doesn’t need to be a long term commitment to make another—and yourself! —feel good.
While post-holiday/winter blues are normal, if the symptoms persist or get worse, it may be time for some outside help. If you’re experiencing significant signs of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, severe exhaustion, inability to take interest in things you have always loved, or drastic changes in appetite or sleeping patterns, talk to your doctor. Depression is treatable, and with a little intervention, you will be able to face 2019 with anticipation of a fresh start.