Everywhere you turn this time of year you hear lyrics of Christmas songs talking about how happy the season is. But for some people, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are just a reminder of how lonely life can be. The holidays are tough for anyone who has lost a loved one, and for the elderly it might seem as if all the younger folks are busy with their own families and friends and have little time for visiting. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11 million adults age 65 or over, almost 30 percent, live alone.
Combine that with the shorter days, which means less sunlight to bright our moods, and colder temperatures that make it harder to want to go outside, and you have a recipe for the winter blues. Not everyone gets depressed in the winter, but it’s common for people to have times of feeling sad or lonely, and of course that can also lead to depression.
Combat those feelings of loneliness and keep the sadness and depression at bay with these tips:
– Go outside for a walk. Getting out in the sun and breathing fresh air is a great way to improve your mood and boost your immunity all at the same time.
– Stick to your schedule. As much as you can, try to get out to your regular activities such as church, bridge club, or exercise classes. It’s easy to want to stay inside when it’s cold or rainy, but making those appointments gives you the opportunity to interact with other people.
– Use technology to communicate. Maybe your grandkids are too busy to come over for a visit, but they love to be on their phones and tablets. Get on Skype or Facetime and you can talk with your grandkids like they’re right there in the room with you. If you haven’t been on Skype or Facetime, ask the kids to give you a tutorial.
– Consider volunteering. There are plenty of ways to use your time to help others. You could be a reading buddy with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools or the Guilford County Schools, or maybe you’d rather help out at one of the local hospitals. Volunteering is a great way to meet other people as well.
Piedmont HomeHealth provides services that can also help keep loneliness at bay. If transportation keeps you from getting together with friends or going to your regular activities, our caregivers are available to help you keep those appointments. Our caring, compassionate caregivers also provide another person to talk to and have fun with, helping pass the hours and make the days more pleasant.
For more information on the services we provide, call Piedmont HomeHealth today at 336-724-1197.