The holidays are generally a time for family, friends, celebrations and feelings of happiness and joy. For some people, the holidays can feel isolated and lonely. This may be due to living in different parts of the country from family and friends, the loss of a spouse or even dealing with a loved one's dementia. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help you fight depression and sadness during one of the busiest seasons of the year.
Residents at the Hickory Villa senior living community in Omaha, NE, have access to a variety of social activities, including group exercise programs, cultural outings, regular events and easy access to other members of the community. By signing up for events, you can keep yourself busy and have plenty of opportunities for interaction with others. The city of Omaha also holds many annual events, including the Midtown Merry Market, the holiday poinsettia show and the annual tree lighting and holiday parade. Church is also an excellent way to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals.
Reach out to family and friends on the phone to receive updates and to stay in touch when you can't be there in person. Video chats make it seem like you're there in person if you are far away, and social media accounts, like Facebook, put you in touch with friends and family you haven't seen in years. Keep the communication alive throughout the year with regularly scheduled phone conversations at least once a week.
Fill up empty time in your day with a new hobby or interest. Think of something you've always wanted to learn to do or something you want to learn about. For group hobbies, look for local clubs or start your own group within the assisted living community. There are also plenty of solitary hobbies, like reading or quilting. Check with your local high school or community college for continuing education classes for adults. These provide an excellent way to learn new skills while meeting new people.
Emotional support groups make dealing with holiday loneliness easier. Sign up to share fears and frustrations, to meet new people going through similar circumstances and to reassure one another. Mental Health America has support groups throughout communities across the country to provide discussions and resources.
Exercise provides a natural way to increase the feel-good endorphins in your body and helps keep you feeling youthful and mobile. Hickory Villa has several exercise programs customized to your personal fitness level. These programs are an excellent way to stay fit, active and help fight depression.
If you or someone you love is fighting depression and loneliness during the holidays, there are plenty of resources available that can help so you don't have to go it alone.