Reinhard: Tips for avoiding the post-Christmas blues

Older adults are especially susceptible

Older adults are especially susceptible to the holiday blues.

Holiday depression and seasonal stress can override a jolly family celebration. What used to be a joyous occasion can change as life has thrown us curve balls.

Leslie Dunham, LCSW, a social worker at the Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Md., says “even as a caregiver, you can be affected by adopting your loved one’s melancholy feelings or anxiety”.

Durham explains “one the biggest challenges for families is losing a loved one, whether it happened 10 months ago or 10 years ago. Grief can bring on intense feelings of loneliness and emptiness. It can also be stressful when family and friends don’t mention our loved one’s name to avoid upsetting you.

There are different ways of honouring your dearly departed loved one.

Place the person’s picture in a prominence place in the home or light a memorial candle. Set aside time so that everyone can share a memory or funny story about the deceased. Remember that every person grieves in a different way. Some people grieve for weeks, and others mourn for years.

Pressure from family to continue holiday celebrations the same way they were can cause stress.

Why not start a new tradition? There is no time like the present to make a change. Your life has simply changed.

Accept help when others offer. A potluck meal is always good. People love to bring things. Prioritize and downsize. If you are the hosts, make two or three dishes instead of six or seven.

Finances are an incredible source of stress.

Money is often already tight for seniors. Keep in mind to set a budget next year. Tell your family that small gifts are just as thoughtful as expensive ones. Give your baking, antipasto or crafts. Many blended families draw names for gift giving, especially when the family grows larger.

The holidays are an important time for self-care.

Keep a regular schedule. Holiday gatherings seem to be on the increase, choose only the ones you want to go to. Make exercise a priority – it will give you more energy.

Festivities usually run through the Christmas week an into the New Year, so avoid overeating, it will help you feel less lethargic and improve digestion. Save indulging for the special family dinner. Be careful about how much alcohol you drink.

Be thankful for what you had, what you have now and what the future will hold. Accept the fact that holidays are not the same as they once were and enjoy creating new memories for the future.

Karla Reinhard lives in Qualicum Beach, where she explores seniors’ issues and personalities in the area. For story tips or questions, she can be reached at karlainpqb@gmail.com

Just Posted

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries

Spring a vulnerable time for fledlings, small mammals says wildlife centre

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read