Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues
Holidays are a time for celebrations, parties, and get-togethers. But sometimes the holiday season can
also be a source of the blues, especially for older people, who may think about how quickly time has
passed, or miss loved ones more during this time of year. Health conditions or concerns about money
can also make it harder to enjoy the holidays. The AGS Health in Aging Foundation offers the following
tips to help cope with the melancholy that may accompany the holidays.
Top 5 Tips
Get Out and About: Ask family and friends for help traveling to parties and events. Invite
family and friends over. Taking a brisk walk in the morning before you
begin the day, or in the evening to wind down your day, is a great way to
beat the blues.
Volunteer: Helping others is a great mood lifter. To volunteer, contact your local
United Way (www.unitedway.org), or call places such as local schools,
hospitals, museums, or places of worship to inquire about volunteer
opportunities in your neighborhood.
Drink Responsibly: It is easy to overindulge around the holidays, but excessive drinking will
only make you feel more depressed. One drink = 12 ounces of beer, 5
ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. The recommended limit for
older men is 14 drinks per week and 7 per week for older women.
Accept Your Feelings: There’s nothing wrong with not feeling jolly; many people experience
sadness and feelings of loss during the holidays. Be kind to yourself, seek
support, and even laugh at yourself every now and then.
Talk to Someone: Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, and
neighbors. Talk about your feelings; it can help you understand why you
feel the way you do. A simple phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice
e-mail, greeting card, or letter can brighten your mood.
Tips are based on information from HealthinAging.org, a website created by the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation to provide consumers and caregivers with up-to-date information on health and aging. Overseen by a team of experts on caring for older adults, HealthinAging.org content is based on resources that the American Geriatrics Society has developed for its professional members.
Visit the websites of the Health in Aging Foundation and the American Geriatrics Society to learn more about each organization.