During the holiday season, it's common for the family to visit their loved ones and spend time together. While this is a wonderful thing, it can also cause feelings of depression when family members leave, and seniors are left alone again. Many people recognize that the "holiday blues" are real and you may become concerned that the senior in your life will develop feelings of depression now that the holidays have passed. Although the “holiday blues” are somewhat unavoidable, there are a few things that your loved one can do to stay positive. Here are five tips that you can share with the senior in your life to help them reduce and prevent depression after the holidays:
Volunteering in the community can be a rewarding experience and is known to relieve depression. Helping others creates a warm feeling that reduces stress, and the community benefits from volunteers. To start volunteering in the community, contact local schools and organizations that have positions available. We recommend visiting DoSomething.org to find other volunteer opportunities in your area. Help a loved one make a change in not only their life but the lives of others today.
2. Get Enough Rest
Relaxation is amazing at helping improve the body physically, but also help battle feelings of depression after the holidays. Adults that regularly sleep for the recommended amount of time have been shown to be happier and have a better mood than those who don't sleep enough. Talk to your loved one and explain the importance of a sleep schedule that allows for a proper amount of time to rest. Lack of sleep can cause irritability, restlessness, and fatigue.
3. Ask for Help
When your loved one is feeling down, let them know that they can talk to family or friends to help express their feelings and improve their mood. Expressing feelings and sharing thoughts with others can help your loved one feel like they are being acknowledged and that their opinions are valid. Spend time with the senior in your life and talk to them about the importance of sharing their feelings. If they don’t feel comfortable speaking with you or other family members, it may be best to have them speak with a professional. Remind your loved one that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather, a sign of strength.
4. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has been shown to have a plethora of positive health effects that can reduce stress and depression. It’s common for people to exercise to relieve stress and anxiety because it can provide a healthy distraction from a stressful situation. Talk to your loved one about participating in a regular exercise routine that will not only improve their physical health but relieve feelings of depression they may have from the “holiday blues” as well. Speak with a doctor about which exercise programs are safe for your loved one to perform on a regular basis.
Silver Comet Village is located conveniently near the Silver Comet Trail, which is popular with locals for being a place to go on a bike ride. Biking is an excellent way to stay in good health and can be done easily with the trail located right in our neighborhood.
5. Be Social
If your loved one is depressed and avoiding social interaction, it can worsen their feelings of depression and prolong them. Speak to your loved one and remind them of the benefits of being more social. Interacting with others can improve mood and distract their mind from feelings of depression or loneliness. Parties, social gatherings, and special events are all great ideas when looking for suggestions. If your loved one prefers not to be in a group setting, it may be best to spend some alone time with them instead. Although they aren’t going out to socialize, it has been shown that face-to-face interaction reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
The "holiday blues" are typical for many older adults to get after the excitement of the holidays has passed. Experiencing feelings of depression and loneliness is normal, but the way that your loved one deals with it is the important thing. Coping with these feelings in healthy and productive ways is the key to combatting negative feelings and starting the day with a positive mindset.
To learn more about Silver Comet Village and the activities and services we offer to our residents, please visit our website!
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