It is that time of the year again. Hanukkah, Christmas New Years eve are here. Love and celebration are in the air. You can see the character of Christmas in the colorful decorations, the smiles on the faces of people and the bright-colored clothes they are wearing. You can hear the voice of the season in the Christmas carols. If you live a Jewish neighborhood in Florida, you might notice a double celebration in the air. This is because the Christmas season sometimes coincides with the Hanukkah. The Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication. This festival goes with eating oil-based foods and playing “dreidel” clearly, there is love in the air and this is a season of happiness. Unfortunately, some elderly people do not enjoy this season because they suffer from holiday season blues. For some elderly people, this season brings back painful memories and causes depression. Below are of the factors that lead to holiday season blues and some pragmatic solutions for seniors.
Empty Nest Syndrome
Human beings are social beings. We were not created to endure loneliness or live in isolation. The ideal way to spend the holiday season is to share the joys of the season with your family and friends. Many seniors have adult children who are living their own lives. Some of these children probably live in a different state and do not visit often. Now, it is holiday season and you expect a few of your children to visit with their children but all you get are excuses. This is depressing and demoralizing.
Death of a Close Relation
We all know that we cannot live forever. We know that death is inevitable but we just cannot accept the death of a loved one. If you have ever lost someone you really love, the holiday season brings back all the pain and the acute sense of loss. You remember all the things you used to do together and the pain and grief become almost overwhelming.
A marriage is meant to last “till death do us part” but sometimes, irreconcilable differences lead to divorce. After a divorce, you try to get on with your life as best you can but the truth is that something vital missing in your life. During the holiday season, you remember your former partner with a mixture of regret and nostalgia and this leads to depression.
There is no perfect family because all families consist of individual members with different temperaments and inclinations. Now, you are a senior citizen and the head of a large family. Your most fervent wish is that all the members of the family live in love and unity. Unfortunately, family conflicts and feuds within the family have affected the unity and love you want to see in the family. The holiday season sometimes emphasizes the lack of unity in the family. Maybe some family members have threatened to stay away from the reunion you are planning if certain members of the family will be there. Clearly, this is not what you want for your family and this senseless feud just breaks your heart.
One of the biggest causes of holiday season blues is loneliness. You want to celebrate but you do not have the people to share the celebration with you. Some of your friends are dead, some have moved and some prefer the company of other people. This may sound very harsh but it describes the situation some elderly people face. Loneliness leads to anxiety and depression. These emotions, in turn, lead to holiday season blues.
Lack of Money
Money is an important commodity but many seniors do not have as much of this commodity as they need. Now, you need money to celebrate the Christmas or the Hanukkah. When the holiday season comes around and you do not have as much cash as you need, this makes you unhappy and frustrated.
Now, we know some of the causes of holiday season blues. Let us look at some ways to cope with it.
One way to cope with holiday season blues is to develop the attitude of gratitude. Do not focus on the negative events in your life. Concentrate on the positives and celebrates the good things you have experienced in your life. Be a grateful senior citizen and you will defeat holiday season blues.
Life is not perfect and many situations are far from ideal. As a senior citizen, you should know this. There is no point in having unreasonable expectations from other people. This will only lead to disappointment. For instance, if some of your family members cannot stand each other; you should do what you can to solve the problem. Your duty is to set a good example for other family members but do not sacrifice your happiness for them.
As a senior citizen, it is safe to assume that you are retired. Now, if you are retired but not tired, you have no reason to laze around and bemoan your circumstances. Get busy and get involved in the celebrations. Get busy and you will be happy.
Do Not Compare
One reason people experience holiday season blues is that they compare their circumstances (unreasonably) to the circumstances of other people. There is no profit in this form of comparison. People are different and they are in different situations. Accept your own situation for what it is and try to change some things for the better. This way, you will enjoy contentment and peace of mind.
Take Care of Yourself
You should look great and come across as a happy person during this season of love and celebration. Take care of yourself, dress well, look good and radiate optimism and confidence. Be the person you admire and other people will admire you during this festive season.