Submitted Article

The winter season is upon us, which for many means holiday celebrations filled with family and friends.

This builds anticipation for those good times; however, for others this time of year can be a reminder of lost loved ones, lack of access to family traditions, or other changes that may bring about stress and anxiety. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season, and people who already live with a mental health condition should take extra care to tend to their overall health and wellness. A recent survey showed that 64% of people with a diagnosed mental illness report that the holidays make their symptoms worse. 

(Osmond General Hospital) Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults typically ages 65 and older struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging. They focus on helping seniors in the community navigate difficult life transitions and regain their quality of life not just during the holiday season, but year-round. 

Office Patient Coordinator Debbie Sporleder said, “knowing how to take care of yourself during this season can make all the difference.”

Below is a list of suggestions that may help counteract the holiday blues:

•  Get enough sleep or rest

•  Spend time with supportive people

•  Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down

•  Take walks

•  Don’t isolate yourself

•  Forget perfection

•  It’s okay to say no

•  Stay within budget

•  Set reasonable expectations

•  Do something you enjoy

•  Enjoy all the wonderful food, but don’t binge

•  Invite someone who lives alone to dinner

•  Volunteer

•  Celebrate a loved one’s life by sharing positive memories

•  Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes

For some, the holidays can bring on temporary depression, and for others it may be chronic. If you, or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of the winter blues or a difficult life transition, contact Osmond General Hospital/Senior Life Solutions at (402) 748-6140.