Reducing Anxiety During the Holidays

It’s that time of year once again where many people begin feeling festive and full of the holiday spirit. For many seniors, the holidays are a time of anxiety because there is so much to do or so much going on around them. Family time is a nice way to spend the holidays but quite often, seniors without immediate family can feel left out and alone during the season. This is especially true for those who may have just relocated to a retirement community or other senior living space. During times like this, it is good to try to keep spirits up by helping those that we know feel part of the festivities to maintain happiness and keep anxiety and depression at bay.

To help keep your spirit up or to help someone you know, try to incorporate something fun into an otherwise lonely schedule. You could try:

  • Making homemade holiday cards with construction paper, markers and glitter sticks. It is also fun to design cards online and print them out.
  • Bake homemade goodies. Tis the season for homemade fudge and if you ask, you may find that you know someone with a great recipe for fudge, seasonal candies or other baked goods.
  • Have a movie night complete with popcorn and friends or family. Watching a good classic film is a great way to spend an evening

You may also want to try one or more of the following to help keep seasonal cheer thriving and chase the blues and anxiety away.

Include Everyone

If you live in a retirement community, be sure to include all the residents in parties and social gatherings. Even if someone says they don’t want to attend, try to ease them into coming along for a little fun. Many seniors try to stay alone when they are new to a community and sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get them to open up.

Keep Expenses Down

A great deal of seniors may be on a very tight budget and trying to impress them with an expensive gift can make them feel bad. It is depressing when someone feels they must reciprocate a gift by spending more than their monthly allowance allows.

Talk About the Good Old Days

In case you haven’t noticed, one of the greatest things about seniors is the fact that their lives have been interesting. Encourage those around you to talk about their past Christmases or their most memorable holiday festivities. This is a wonderful way to share in their memories while making new memories along the way.

No matter what you do this holiday season, be sure to take careful consideration of those around you. Make time to be there for those in the retirement community or the assisted living homes. Seniors enjoy communication, and when you take the time to bring a little holiday cheer to someone’s life, you are bound to feel cheered yourself.

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