Make sure you avoid stress, unhealthy choices and depression this holiday season.
While the holidays are a time of joyful gatherings with family and friends, they can also be a source of stress, weight gain and depression for older adults. Here’s how to avoid all three.
Make Healthy Choices
It’s OK to enjoy tempting and tasty homemade meals and snacks, but try not to overindulge.
Follow Dietary Restrictions
It can be difficult to adhere to a diet during the holidays, so make sure you buy specific items to keep on hand in your fridge or pantry — and then make sure you eat them!
Drink in Moderation
Overindulging in alcohol can impair functions, and for some senior citizens, drinking alcohol with certain medications can have adverse side effects. Try choosing and serving alcohol-free drinks.
Stick to an exercise schedule — you’ll feel better, both physically and emotionally. A walk, even if it isn’t very far or fast, can do wonders for your body during the holidays. Plan them after family meals. And as long as you’re going, increase the fun by inviting everyone to join you!
Watch Your Budget
For many senior citizens, especially those on a fixed income, the holidays can be a financial challenge. Why not make homemade gifts? Homemade baked goods like cookies or breads or handcrafted ornaments often mean the most to recipients.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Chase the blues by taking time to remember what your thankful for.
Get Your Rest
Try to follow your regular sleep schedule, take a midday nap and remember to rest after exhausting travel, shopping trips or other physical activities.
If you can’t spend the holidays with family or friends, keep active and engaged by volunteering, going to a senior center, or joining a club. Learn to text, skype or share videos with loved ones.
If you are grieving over the loss of a loved one, find a way to talk about that person with other family members. Place a framed photo alongside some holiday decorations. Make a scrapbook to share with family and friends. Remember the person in family prayers or toasts.
Go to Church or Synagogue
If your faith is important to you, find the time to celebrate it.
This can be a stress-buster. It makes you feel good to cross completed jobs off your list.
Get Out of the House
Take a drive to look at holiday decorations and lights, window-shop at the mall, enjoy a spa visit or see a holiday performance.
Make Time for Yourself
Spend just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Listen to holiday music. Read a book. Watch a favorite movie.