The leaves are turning yellow and the morning air is crisp. Everyone is pulling out their sweaters and scarves. Grocery stores have pumpkin flavored treats with peppermint candies in the next aisle over. Everywhere you go, scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and gingerbread fill the air in hopes of putting you in the holiday spirit.
But are you? In the holiday spirit? Or do the holidays have you feeling more like Ebenezer?
The older adult population is at a higher risk for the holiday blues during this time of year. To some, the holidays do not feel quite like they used to. The empty nester no longer has children running around the dinner table. The widower looks over at the picture of their deceased love, and yearns to make their favorite holiday recipe for them just once more.
So what can you do to beat the holiday blues this year?
- Surround yourself with friends and loved ones. Reach out to extended family if your immediate family is unavailable. The holidays are a great chance to catch up with relatives you have not seen in some time. If you live in a 55 and over area, many community club houses have events for the holidays and opportunities to make new friends.
- If you have plans this year including family coming into town, be sure to budget. You do not have to break the bank to show your love. Give your time, and again, look for some community events offering free holiday crafting. Who doesn’t like something hand made from the heart?
- Many hospitals and food banks need volunteers, especially during this time of year. If you can, sign up and bring a smile to someone’s face. As a floor RN, I remember so many patients who were not visited during the holidays.
- Bring back old traditions. Was there a favorite dessert or side dish you used to make? Make it if you can. If you can’t bring the recipe back to life by simply sharing it with neighbors.
Visit your PCP. The New Year is right around the corner. Now is a great time to get your blood work and checkup so you and your primary care provider can come up with a plan of care to kick start the New Year.