It’s that time of year again – turkey, merriment, gifts, and a new year. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to feel down. If your adult children are grown and live far away or perhaps you recently lost a loved one or spouse, the holidays just aren’t the same. While it may seem impossible, there are a number of ways to add holiday cheer this Christmas, whether you’re living at home, in assisted living, or other retirement home. Here’s some, just to name a few:
- Visit with loved ones, if possible
- Bake festive holiday cookies
- Take them to see a performance of "The Nutcracker"
- Attend a candlelight service at church
- Sing along to Christmas carols
- Make a family photo album or scrapbook
- For distant loved ones, call or FaceTime
With seasonal depression often follows senior isolation during the holidays, which is now at an all-time high and brings mental and physical health risks to seniors who feel cooped up. It is reported that seniors exemplifying behaviors of isolation have an increase in mortality rate and are typically linked to having higher blood pressure and long-term illnesses. To avoid this, it is important to find your holiday cheer and remain active, despite the cold or overcast weather. For our Regency residents, we encourage you to participate in both on and off campus events. These may include dinners with family, Christmas light sightseeing, and nativity scene viewing.
If you’re feeling blue this Christmas, help spark your holiday joy by following these 3 tips for a more joyful Christmas this year for the entire family.
1. Involve them in your Christmas plans – Attending a candlelight service? Invite everyone to go with you. At Regency Senior Living, we encourage you to spend quality time with loved ones because nothing is better than the gift of family during the holiday season.
2. Share your memories and make new ones – The holidays are a wonderful time to share some of your life stories to willing listeners. They will likely get a kick out of hearing your traditions when you were a kid. While sharing your old memories, make new ones. For example, make it an annual tradition of stringing popcorn on the Christmas tree with the family or host a lighting of the tree. This will give you something to look forward to in the holidays and years to come.
3. Stay occupied and positive - While stringing the popcorn is a rather tedious task, you might be able to find something else to help with this or other tasks, because it’s a great thing to feel needed. Perhaps you could be in charge of the annual lighting of the tree. If you are unable to contribute due to physical limitations, there’s something that you can do to contribute. If you feel down this Christmas because you believe that you have very little to offer your family, join in on planned activities and crafts, such as putting together a scrapbook, an ornament, or even record a family story.
In circumstances where getting together with family is not possible this holiday season, due to distance, health, or cost, you can still wish your friends and family a happy holiday using your tablet, phone, or computer. For those who aren’t able to be near family, remember you always have your Regency family.
Whatever your plans this Christmas, we wish you and all of your loved ones a very merry holiday season. Happy Holidays from the Regency Retirement Community!
Written by: Katie Hanley