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Preventing the Holiday Blues in Seniors

The holidays, while joyful for many, can be a trying time of year for others. While some see the holidays as a time to reconnect with family and loved ones, not everyone has that same outlook. Some people aren’t able to be in the same place as loved ones due to distance, while others are coping with the loss of significant others or family members. And some people may be experiencing health concerns. Each of these issues makes the holidays a trying time for many. However, there are several ways to cope with the holiday blues and make the season more pleasant.

Senior Health Care

Symptoms of Holiday Blues

The Holiday Blues are generally temporary feelings of stress or anxiety around the holidays due to unrealistic expectations or memories that come with the season. There are several symptoms to indicate holiday depression including fatigue, frustration, tension, sadness, loneliness or isolation, and a general sense of loss. However, it is important to note the difference between clinical depression and holiday depression. Holiday Blues are a temporary form of depression whereas clinical depression is a long-term issue. But, it is vital to take care of the short-term issues too as they can lead to long-term problems down the road.

Tips for the Holiday Season

While the Holiday Blues can be difficult to navigate, there are several ways to help cope with the season. Here are a few:

  1. Regardless of plans, recognize that the holidays do not take away those feelings of aloneness, sadness, anger, and fear, especially if they were pre-existing.
  2. Decide on your priorities and stick to those.
  3. Schedule activities for yourself if you feel alone during the holidays. Consider volunteering to serve dinner at a homeless shelter, working with children in a hospital, or other community service activities.
  4. Plan some unstructured activities for yourself. Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights and holiday decor, get some hot chocolate at a cafe, or other fun, low-cost activities. The options are endless.
  5. If you are visiting with family, be careful with navigating resentments with family members from past holiday seasons. Avoid airing your grievances with each relative and don’t let them do that to you either.
  6. Set reasonable expectations for your schedule. While it is great to stay busy, do not overbook yourself as you may find yourself more irritable and depressed.
  7. If you enjoy partaking in alcoholic beverages, do not allow the holidays to become a time for binge drinking. This will further exacerbate depression and anxiety.
  8. Cut yourself some slack. Make time for activities you love whether it’s yoga, going for a walk, spiritual practices, or reading. This will keep you grounded and help to clear your mind.
  9. While remembering loved ones is important, if you are experiencing a loss, consider creating new, fun traditions to give yourself something different to look forward to.

Need Some More Tips or Assistance? Contact Primary Care Physicians of Florida

If you are concerned that you are experiencing holiday depression, contact Primary Care Physicians of Florida. We have doctors who accept Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana on staff, as well as others who are on the list of CarePlus healthcare providers.

Some of the other insurances we carry at Primary Care Physicians of Florida are (but not limited to): Medicare, Medicaid, AARP, UnitedHealthCare, and Guardian. Please contact us for more information about the insurance plans we accept.

Set up a same-day doctor appointment by calling 954-983-9191 or fill out our online contact form to get started now.

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