The winter season is upon us and the colder weather and shorter days may cause individuals to feel more isolated, lonely, and less motivated. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 12 million Americans over age 65 live alone. During the winter months, many individuals may also choose to skip the cold and stay home more often than usual, leading to a decreased opportunity for social interaction. This increased isolation mixed with feelings of stress and anxiety that may accompany wintertime and the upcoming holidays can have a real impact on a person’s overall wellbeing. Box Butte General Hospital’s (BBGH) Senior Life Solutions program is here to help older adults in the community.
Denasha Schmunk, Program Director for BBGH’s Senior Life Solutions said, “For many, this time of year can bring up a lot of emotions. It can be a reminder of lost loved ones, the nostalgia for family traditions, and can make coping with life changes feel more challenging. We want to be a source of light for the older adults in our community and will do everything we can to help keep individuals supported and connected.”
Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults typically ages 65 and older struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging. They focus on helping seniors in the community navigate difficult life transitions and regain their quality of life not just during the holiday season, but year-round.
For many, the holiday blues will bring temporary feelings of depression or anxiety during the holiday season; however, for some those feelings will linger. Individuals who are already struggling with their emotional health should take steps of extra self-care during this time.
Below is a list of suggestions that may help counteract the holiday blues:
• Get enough sleep or rest
• Spend time speaking with supportive people on the phone
• Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down
• Get outside and take walks
• Stay within budget
• Set reasonable expectations
• Do something you enjoy whether it be walking the dog, or sewing a new scarf
• Enjoy all the wonderful food but don’t binge
• Celebrate a loved one’s life by sharing positive memories
• Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes
For some, the holidays can bring on temporary depression, and for others, it may be chronic. If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of the winter blues or a difficult life transition, contact BBGH’s Senior Life Solutions at (308) 761-3511.
Box Butte General Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults suffering from symptoms of anxiety and depression often related to aging. For more information, or if you know an older loved one who needs help, contact us at (308) 761-3511.
Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.