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Older Adult Wellness: Happy through the Holidays

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT

With the holiday season here, it is easy to get caught up in the spirited festivities. Bouncing from event to event. Buying and wrapping gifts. Cooking and enjoying meals. All of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be fun, but once the party has ended and the family has left, sometimes reality can be challenging.

Though the holiday season is supposed to be full of cheer, the reality is that as we age and family moves away or even passes on, this time of year can be emotionally difficult.

As feelings of loneliness and sadness may creep in, it is important to acknowledge those feelings. Recognizing those feelings can help move us forward to a happier, refreshed holiday.

A large component of health is emotional well-being. A happy heart is a healthy heart. As the year draws to a close with a busy holiday season, try these simple tools to keep a positive attitude.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step toward a healthy mindset is to acknowledge your current feelings. It is normal to feel lonely without your spouse or family during the holidays. Your emotions are your emotions and you do not have to excuse them.

Start a New Tradition

If you are missing the times that the kids put on their matching pajamas and gathered to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life,” try a new holiday routine. Perhaps you could enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend or create a new holiday dessert.

Reach Out

If you feel isolated or down in spirit, contact a loved one or friend. Even if it is simply a phone call, it is better to initiate contact rather than simply wishing someone would invite you over to a celebration.

Volunteer

One of the best ways to lift your mood is by giving back. Nothing sparks a better attitude than helping others. By volunteering time and efforts we remember that the season is truly bigger than ourselves.

Remember Fondly

As you think back on the times that were, cherish the memories and traditions. Instead of longing for celebrations to be exactly like they always were, be thankful that you had the chance to create those memories.

This holiday season take time to reflect on the year in a positive light. How you celebrate this holiday season is up to you. As our lives changes and the years continue, the holiday seasons can be either disheartening or uplifting depending on your frame of mind. Choose to be happy through the holidays!

Note: While some holiday blues is common, it is important to be aware of signs and symptom of depression. If you feel the holiday blues is hanging on too long, contact your doctor.

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