Experts offer tips to beat holiday blues

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Holidays do not always equate to happiness

Along with trees, tradition, tinsel and good tidings that come around once a year, for some, the holiday blues come along as well.

During a time when songs play repeatedly about making the season bright, decking the halls with boughs of holly and singing Joy to the World, for many, the holidays can be bittersweet, says Susan Poehling, RN and director of Senior Life Solutions at Mercy Cassville, a program which offers outpatient therapy to promote mental and emotional well being.

"While we are so elated to be part of the season and see our family and friends, we are reminded of holidays long ago, and the loved ones who are no longer with us," Poehling said.

Senior Life Solutions, which is offering advice to beat the blues that come around during Christmas and New Year's, believes one's quality of life does not have to stop as they get older, or during the holidays. And the tips they offer apply to all ages, not just seniors.

Sadness as a result of missing loved ones who are no longer here may be one reason the holiday blues hit, but there are multiple reasons, Poehling said, and they can affect people in all ages and stages of life. For instance, family conflicts and arguments, being away from home during the holidays such as affects military families, loneliness and being alone, lack of finances for buying gifts, or even existing depression are all circumstances that may be experienced by many.

"When we see people who are already going through depression, the holidays can be particularly stressful, and they often want to isolate," Poehling said. "And as we know, this can be a time for families to have to negotiate their holiday arrangements, which can bring up previous family dynamics, and it is also time that causes one to remember people they have loved and lost."

Dr. Tamon Paige, medical director for the program, offers advice for those who may be experiencing some of the holiday blues.

"When sadness hits remembering past losses, change your thinking to being thankful for the time you had and the memories," he said.

This season, when the holiday blues come knocking, don't invite them in -- beat them. To do that, Senior Life Solutions offers the following tips:

* Get out and about -- Ask family and friends for help traveling to parties and events.

* Volunteer -- Helping others is a great mood lifter.

* Accept your feelings -- There's nothing wrong with not feeling jolly. Many people experience sadness and feelings of loss during the holidays.

* Talk to someone -- Talk about your feelings. It can help you understand why you feel the way you do.

"If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, no referral is needed, just call us," Paige said. "We're here to help."

For more information about the program, people may call 417-847-6042.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: