The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for many. But as we age, we tend to experience more loss. Loved ones, including friends and spouses, may have passed. Your grown children tend to get busy with their own lives, including their significant others and children. Additionally, many seniors live alone or have a harder time getting around, which means decorating and going out can be more challenging.
If you are prone to feeling down during this time of year, here are some tips to help beat the holiday blues as an older adult:
- If mobility isn’t an issue, try to get out and about. Whether it’s a church function or a walk with a neighbor, socialization can be powerful in fighting off feelings of loneliness.
- Volunteer your time at a school, church or hospital. Helping others and giving your time can help you feel better.
- Drink responsibly. The holidays can often give us an excuse to overindulge, but try to limit your alcohol intake.
- Spend time with animals. Pets can be great companions and help remove the feeling of isolation. If you can’t have a pet, try volunteering at an animal shelter or offering to walk or watch a neighbor’s pet.
If you notice signs of depression or anxiety that last beyond the holiday season, be sure to bring it up to your doctor. Just as your doctor helps you determine treatment plans for physical illnesses, he or she will help determine the best treatment plan specific to you and your mental health needs.