While the holiday season can inspire feelings of joy, warmth, and belonging, it can have quite a different effect on some. The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can evoke feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety.
The holiday blues is a real phenomenon. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, revealed that 38% of those surveyed said they felt more stress due to a lack of time and lack of money during the holiday season. The pressures of gift-giving and family gatherings also added their stress levels.
How to Avoid the Holiday Blues
Schedule Time Together
We can get overwhelmed with all the To Do’s on our lists. Making our loved ones feel important needs to be at the top of that list. Whether you get together in person, over the phone, or virtually, schedule a mutually agreeable time and put it on the calendar.
Involve Your Senior
The holidays are full of activities, celebrations, and meals. Ask your senior for their opinions on all the details – from planning, and table settings, to the decorations, and any games played. By including your senior in on these decisions you are telling them they are still valued and their opinions matter.
Continue the Traditions
Is there a favorite movie you and your family watch every year? Do you drive around looking at holiday lights? Is there a specific dish that is always served? Ask your senior if they want to join you in these activities. And definitely make their special dish. All of these will bring back happy memories of times and things they love.
Relive the Past
Pull out the photo albums. This is the perfect opportunity to share and process memories of years past. Ask about their favorite things: music, vacation, accomplishments. We can learn a lot about each other in a life review as well as boost self-esteem. You can learn more about conducting Life Reviews in this article.
Don’t be afraid to share sad memories. This can be a healthy way to release those normal feelings.
Be Present and Enjoy the Moment
Block out the distractions. Turn off the phones, or at least set them aside, so you can give all of your attention to your loved ones. Fully engage in the games and celebrations. And if things don’t go quite as planned, don’t worry about it. Don’t get anxious about how it could have been or should have been. Instead fully enjoy all that it is.
Can Professional In-Home Care Help?
If you are unable to be in-person with your senior in Washington DC, Montgomery County, Howard or Prince George’s County, we can help.
Our licensed caregivers can provide help with the 6 activities of daily living as well as companionship for your senior this holiday season.
We are happy to discuss your family’s specific needs – contact us via our website or call 301-888-5253.
Not sure if you need in-home care? This article When Do You Need an Aide can provide some assistance.