10 Ways to Cure Holiday Depression
According to Mental Health America, approximately 2 million seniors suffer from some of type of depression, and there’s no doubt that the holidays, a time of joy and reflection, can bring along anxiousness, and even loneliness amongst seniors who are reminded of loved ones they’ve lost in recent years.
Given this, we’ve always been passionate about thinking of ways to make each day unique and special for our clients during the holidays, so because Christmas is almost here, here is a list of 10 ways to bring joy to your loved one this year, and to make this season one you will never forget.
1.) Acknowledge the fact that years go by, and life goes on…
Encourage your loved one and your family to talk about it. There’s nothing worse than holding in certain feelings or thoughts, and if you encourage conversations about the holiday blues and acknowledge that it exists in all of us, it can help your loved one cope with it.
2.) Always make time for family time.
Countless studies have shown that the key to conquering depression and holiday blues is to always surround yourself with people. It can be family and those you love, and even a group of friends at your loved one’s local church. Remember that socializing can turn back the effects of time.
3.) Even if it’s just the two of you this year, make it count.
If you are spending the holidays with your client or loved one, be sure to get out there and plan ahead for fun winter activities, such as visiting the local shopping mall and choosing a gift for one another, attending a tree lighting, or seeing a choir concert at your loved one’s church or community center.
4.) Speaking of choirs, let the holiday music heal your soul.
Holiday classics, like any particular song, can bring back very vivid memories that can either make your day or break your day. It is very helpful however, to embrace the good memories and to make new ones by listening to holiday tunes and ethereal instrumental music during this time with your loved one.
5.) Don’t let them put aside their favorite holiday traditions or decorations
As time goes on, we often end up spending the holidays with other relatives or families, and tend to focus less on decorating the house or getting into the holiday spirit. Oftentimes, it’s simply due the fact that we don’t have the same energy to “go all out” like we used to. Keep this in mind this year, and make sure no favorite decoration that may seem hard to assemble, or that the Christmas lights outside are left in your loved one’s basement. Call a friend for an extra hand, and help them embrace the season!
6.) Turn their holiday cards, photos and more into a scrapbook!
Let’s face it, we all have a box (or many), in which we store old Christmas cards, photos and mementos we could never part with. Chances are your client or loved one has many as well. Try finding them, and hosting a private scrapbooking party to create a lovely keepsake that will allow them to look back on their memories, and remember even more vivid holiday traditions and past events to tell their family about.
7.) Plan not one, but many special holiday feasts
Who says you can only celebrate Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with a one dinner with the family? Especially if your client or loved one used to be the one who’d always host and prepare these dinners, it may be difficult for them to pass the responsibility off to another member of the family. However, who’s to say you can’t plan a lovely Christmas brunch, breakfast or late-night supper multiple times during the week? Try planning a menu together, and going out to shop to embrace the delicious holiday recipes they know and love that you both will enjoy on the days leading to Christmas!
8.) It might sound crazy, but take a photo with Santa!
Taking a photo with Santa can make anyone feel like a kid again, because – as they say – there’s still a child in each and every one of us! Try visiting your local shopping mall, inviting along the family and your client’s grandchildren, and take a photo with Santa to put on their annual Christmas card. This will definitely be a gift all of their friends and family will cherish for years to come.
9.) Make your Christmas tree pop!
Taking out and helping your client or loved one decorate their tree can be a hassle, but don’t forget that there are so many other fun options you can try out together this year! Instead of using the same decorations as last year, try buying a new set as a gift, or updating the color of lights they usually prefer on the tree. Or, you can even buy a smaller, fresh Christmas tree (Charlie Brown sized), and decorate it together as a fun activity to keep in their bedroom or kitchen!
10.) Last but not least, don’t forget to enjoy every minute.
It may sound cliche, but be sure to cherish the moments of love, compassion and excitement your loved one or client expresses this season. Let’s vow to never take anyone in our lives for granted, and to make this season the best ever.