As the holidays approach, it’s important to remember that they aren’t always a time of joy for everyone. For many seniors, the holidays are a time of depression and loneliness. For those that spend these important days alone, the holidays can become a trap. If you are a senior who is dealing with the holidays, it’s important to look at what you can do to avoid falling prey to depression – and how you can change your life to find a bit of joy during the holiday season. Moving forward will not always be easy, but it can be done by anyone who is willing to put in the work to succeed.
Identifying Root Causes
Perhaps the key to dealing with depression among senior citizens is identifying the cause. Is there a particular issue related to the holidays that can trigger a bout of loneliness? Does a recent loss make things harder to bear? Identifying these causes can help a senior to stop, reflect, and ultimately make decisions that can help them move past their traumas. This is in no way a short-term solution, of course, and is something that’s best done with the aid of a therapist. With time and help, though, this may be the best way for a senior to combat holiday loneliness.
Becoming Part of the Crowd
In a season of family and togetherness, it can be hard for a senior to be alone. As such, it’s important to cultivate relationships that will allow the senior to get out and be among people. Whether this means attending a work holiday party or just spending some time with friends, being with people will almost always be better than being alone. It’s important that the senior moves past the idea that they are burdening anyone – if they are invited, they are clearly wanted. If a senior can be part of the crowd, loneliness won’t strike them in such a stark manner.
Doing Good Works
Another great way to stave off depression is to do something good for others. During the holiday season, there are innumerable opportunities for people of all ages to help out. From soup kitchens to charity phone drives, a senior citizen can get out of the house and feel useful while doing something good for those that really need help. Perhaps best of all, this can help the senior to reconnect with his or her community and make connections that will last them well into the new year.
Getting Out of Town
Sometimes, being in the same place can bring on a sense of crushing sameness. For some seniors, the memories of holidays past may just be too much if they’re forced to stay at home. It’s a good idea, then, for some seniors to get on the road and go somewhere new. Visiting friends and family can be a great way to spend the holidays, but so too can be a vacation to someplace exotic and new. Instead of spending the end of the year reliving old memories, seniors can start building new memories that they can cherish.
Battling depression isn’t easy, but it can be done. If seniors can move out of isolation, get back into the community, and find the energy to put in effort, depression can be battled back. It is important for seniors to speak with professionals if the depression is overwhelming, though – the holidays may just be the tip of the iceberg. With the right help and the right motivation, though, a senior citizen can begin to once again enjoy the holidays and everything that they represent.Read more