So, what kind of person are you? Are you the Grinch at Christmas or are you more like Buddy the Elf? Hopefully you are somewhere in between. The holidays are not all lights, baking and singing Christmas carols for everyone. This especially holds true for some seniors. The songs that stir the hearts of many during the season can evoke feelings of sadness for others. But the best thing to do is not to allow the blues to get the best of you during the holidays or anytime for that matter. Here are some tips to help you or a loved one cope and avoid a “blue” Christmas.
- Stay Active! Exercise is not only good for the heart it is also excellent for the mind. By doing reasonable exercise based on your doctor’s recommendations and your ability, you can keep the blood pumping. It also improves our metabolic rate and increases the production of endorphins which are those natural mood lifters in the brain.
- Makeover your Mood! Studies show that the simple act of getting a haircut or even a hot shave makes you feel better! Don’t discount the benefits of a nice pedicure too. Feeling better about yourself will help make your spirits improve.
- Eat Better! Now while the holidays offer many opportunities for sweet treats that we may only have once a year, it’s best not to indulge. While these goodies typically show their havoc on waistlines, they have also been proven to derail our moods and cause depression as well. So, don’t wait until the New Year to practice better eating. Everything in moderation and stick to a well-balanced diet.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” So, this is not something to minimize. If you feel that your loved one may need more professional help. Don’t delay and don’t minimize the situation. Reach out and show love. If they are living alone, consider a move to assisted living or to a situation that will help stimulate them socially. Be sure to keep them engaged. Remember the way we feel mentally has a huge impact on our health physically.
For more information and a guide to overcoming holiday depression for the elderly check out the link below for article published by the American Medical Resource Institute. www.aclsonline.us/artcles/the-guide-to-overcoming-holiday-depression-for-the-elderly-and-their-caretakers/
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