The holidays have come and gone for the year. Even the New Year is not so new anymore. It's begun to pick up a bit of the dirt and dust that comes with living life, and much of the shine of celebration may have waned. That's true for seniors in an assisted living community as it is for people of all ages around the nation (and even the globe).
You might have heard of the holiday blues. It's not uncommon for people to experience stress or depression during the holiday season. Anxiety about gifting or getting together with others, or loneliness if you don't feel really connected to anyone at that time of year, can lead to feeling sad.
But did you know that the post-holiday blues can also impact people? The sudden come down from the celebratory season can leave you reeling. Maybe you were super busy with holiday outings and planning. Perhaps you were uplifted by the decorations and Christmas music. Once all the trappings and tinsel are put away for the year, many people are left wondering "what now?"
New Year's resolutions and activity can put a hold on post-holiday blues in early January, but here are some tips for beating these blahs as the year continues to unfold.
One of the mood-lifting aspects of the holidays is how much time is spent with others. Holiday outings, parties and get-togethers all raise spirits and battle isolation. But you don't have to wait until next Thanksgiving or Christmas to experience such benefits. Make plans to stay connected with those you love and care about. Leverage smartphones for FaceTime sessions, plan outings with the grandkids if they're local and schedule a weekly coffee catch-up with friends. Reach out and make new friends in the assisted living community by putting yourself out there at social events and in the dining room and common areas.
Your mood is directly connected to your overall physical well-being. Follow your doctor's advice about diet and exercise to feel as well as possible and stay mobile. Being able to get out and enjoy life pays off in overall mood.
Another big mood booster during the holidays is all the giving we tend to do. Making others happy makes us happy.
Seniors can continue giving to others in all kinds of ways throughout the year. Consider volunteering to read to children in local schools, help serve up food at a local rescue mission or craft blankets for children or people in need. These are just a few ways you can give to others. Remember that giving doesn't have to be complex or expensive. A simple, heartfelt card can often make someone's day.
Vitamin D (that's good ol' sunshine) helps your body and brain regulate mood and reduce depression. It also packs some other healthy punches, making it a good idea for seniors to seek the sunlight even during colder months. If the weather doesn't make it easy to get outside, consider opening your curtains or sitting in assisted living common areas where windows are plentiful.
Put all these tips to work by joining in on the vibrant and busy lifestyle of the Bethesda Gardens community here in Frisco. From group exercise classes to movie nights and ice cream socials, you're sure to find something of interest on the activity calendar.