4 Top Tips to Beat the Christmas Blues

December 10, 2021

For most people, December is a joyful time of year.

Friends and family gather to enjoy one another’s company and engage in traditional and fun family activities, like decorating the Christmas tree and enjoying Christmas light displays together. However, for some older adults, the festive season might not feel as wonderful as it did in past years.

The loss of a spouse can make the season feel less than celebratory. Unfortunately, so can a chronic health problem. Then there are the added worries associated with COVID-19 (which are hopefully diminishing).

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Here are a few tips if you or your loved one are battling a case of the ‘Christmas Blues’.

1. Commit to a healthy diet.

Most of us know the role diet plays in wellness. But when you are feeling down, it’s easy to turn to comfort or convenience foods if you just don’t feel like cooking. Unfortunately, these are often unhealthy and can end up making you feel worse. They can contribute to fatigue, sluggishness, weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

One step you can take to kick the blues is to commit to improving your diet. As we age, it plays an ever-increasing role in health and wellness. Here are some nutrition tips for seniors from Nutrition Australia, from watching your salt to staying well hydrated.

2. Exercise and avoid sitting too much.

People often think that because they are busy all day, they are getting an adequate amount of exercise. Busyness can help you avoid the health risks associated with being too sedentary, but it’s probably not resulting in enough cardio physical activity. Fitness activities that get the heart pumping help increase energy, improve sleep, and beat stress. Each is vital for overall health.

Some older adults find two or more shorter workouts easier to manage than 30 continuous minutes of exercise. Health guidelines indicate that starting with ten minute workouts and building up to 15 minutes is beneficial. Resistance bands, chair yoga, Pilates, and walking are all activities you can easily do at home.

We have a list of other ways you can improve your heart health and fitness, here

3. Nurture the spirit.

Older adults have a broader range of life experiences, some good and some not so good. And when losses add up, they can take a toll on your mental health. Activities such as meditation, praying, listening to meaningful music, gardening, art, and writing a memoir can nurture your spirit. When you are struggling to find a more positive outlook on life, trying a few of these may prove worthwhile.

4. Find ways to laugh more.

There’s an old saying that laughter is the best medicine. There’s plenty of research showing how true that is. When you are feeling blue, you probably aren’t laughing all that often. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to look for opportunities to laugh. It will boost your mood and likely help you beat the blues. Watch an old comedy in the evening, like MASH or Are You Being Served?.

If you are looking for something fresh, and enjoy stand up, YouTube also has some great clean comedy, such as Dry Bar Comedy. Or, invest in a good joke book and read aloud from it every morning.

Companion Care from Mayflower

If you or a loved one is struggling with loneliness, know that help is available in your own home. By enlisting the support of the care team from Mayflower, you can get assistance with everything from light housekeeping to meal preparation. And you can also take advantage of our Companion Care services. Your in-home care plan can include having a carer or companion join you for a leisurely walk, spend time talking, or engaging in arts and crafts activities.

Call us on 1300 522 273 for an assessment of your or your loved one’s in-home care needs today.