After Christmas Blues: Don't Let Depression Get You Down

The holidays bring plenty of joy, but they can also be a source of depression for some. Know the signs and what you can do to cast off the blues.

After Christmas Blues: Don't Let Depression Get You Down

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes the holidays can be a source of stress and depression. Seniors are particularly susceptible to holiday depression if they live alone or far away from loved ones, especially when the holidays end and loved ones go home.

Check out these tips to beat the holiday blues.

Signs Of A Storm

Be diligent about your mental health and watch for signs of depression such as:

  • Loss of interest in daily activities

  • Changes in sleep or increased fatigue

  • Extended periods of sadness

  • Change in weight or appetite

  • Restlessness

It's essential to know the difference between holiday blues and depression. If you find you've been done in the dumps long after the holidays have passed, it may be time to reach out for help.

How You Can Help Yourself

Take steps to maintain your mental and physical health during and after the holidays so you can enjoy the spirit of the season long after it has passed.

Physical health:

  • Eat well: Add plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meals to get the vitamins and nutrients your mind and body need.

  • Exercise: A quick walk gets you out of the house, clears your mind, and improves blood flow.

  • Watch your drinking: Alcohol is a depressant and can exacerbate the negative emotions. Limit yourself to three drinks a day, at the most.

Mental health:

  • Stay engaged: Visit family and friends or invite guests to your house. Organize a schedule with family members to carpool to events, so you're not cooped up in your home.

  • Volunteer: The holidays are a perfect time to get active in your community, and helping others will boost your mood. Check with local hospitals or museums to find out what volunteering opportunities are available.

  • Be honest with yourself and others: Don’t be upset with yourself if you’re feeling down. However, if your depression symptoms continue, it may be time to reach out for professional help.

How To Help Your Loved Ones

If you notice your senior loved one is struggling with holiday or winter depression, there are things you can do to help them through their blues.

Manage expectations: Like traditions, a person’s capabilities can change over time, so let your loved ones know it's okay if they are not able to engage like they used to.

Help out: Lend a hand with their cleaning, cooking, decorating or un-decorating, as the case may be. You'll take some stress off of their shoulders and can visit with them during the process.

Keep your ears open: Sometimes, people need a hand to hold but don't know how to ask for it. Encourage your loved ones to express their feelings and acknowledge their struggle. If you suggest professional help, volunteer to go with them.

Learn more about how Royal Oak’s services can support your loved one’s physical and mental health. Call us at 440-884-9191.

Royal Oak is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center located on Pearl Road in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

Jamie White

Jamie White is the Marketing Director for Royal Oak Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center located at 6973 Pearl Road in Middleburg Heights

It is our purpose to be an educational resource to the community. If you need guidance, please reach out to Jamie at 440-785-2368

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 9:21 PM, 01.26.2020