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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Our Voices – Tips for navigating the holiday blues

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The holidays are often painted as a time of joy, love, and happiness. However, they can be particularly difficult as a senior, especially if you live alone.

In 2020, A U.S. census estimated that 27% of older adults live alone, and many experience loneliness. The holidays often serve as a reminder of that loneliness. This time can be difficult because it is a reminder of what has been lost or different. Feelings of grief over the loss of a loved one, loss of family traditions, and sometimes just reminders of limitations tend to be heightened during this period. Even having distant loved ones can feel more painful during the “most wonderful time of the year.“

There are ways to help boost cheerfulness during this time though!

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First, understand that your feelings are real and normal and expressing this to others is important. Assess your situation in advance of the holidays. Ask yourself what you can do. Can you find an active way to create a holiday experience that you can enjoy?

Next, make a plan: invite family, friends, or neighbors over to help decorate, seek out a community holiday event, or consider volunteering.

Finally, make it special for yourself. Reminisce about enjoyable family memories, but be willing to create new ones! Listen to holiday music, prepare a meal, or treat yourself to watching a holiday movie. Don’t forget to take care of your physical needs, too. Regular movement and activity can do wonders to reduce stress and loneliness.

“You got this!” 

Carpe diem!

The Next Memory Café is December 12.

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Arlene Orr
Arlene Orr
Arlene Orr is a Naperville resident and member of the Naperville Senior Task Force.

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