As we enter this holiday season, it can be a difficult time for many of us. We all occasionally get the blues, but isolation, loneliness, and memories of past holiday seasons can contribute to seasonal depression or the Holiday Blues. An estimated six million Americans over the age of 65 have reported feeling down during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. To cope with the Holiday Blues, here are a few tips from the Milestone Retirement website.
- Take your time. The holiday season can be a busy time and stressful. Try not to let your daily must-do list get in the way of spending time with family members and friends. And if you do get stressed find a way to exercise. Twenty-five pushups on the living room floor?
- The more the merrier. We live in a culture that often makes it difficult to ask for help and during the holidays there is often plenty to do: purchasing gifts, putting up Christmas decorations, and cooking that special meal. Avoid trying to do everything by yourself. Instead, ask your children or friends to assist you. Or maybe they can help you plan a big social gathering – or maybe not! But inviting a few friends over can help beat the blues. It’s always more fun to do things with others than alone.
- Make someone else’s holiday special. Try volunteering. There are many holiday activities needing volunteers. It might not be too late to help at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner in your area. Seldom are there too many volunteers.
- Stimulate your mind or get creative. Snuggling up with a book on a cold winter day can be a nice way to spend an afternoon. I just started reading Phyllis Diller’s autobiography Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse – there is nothing like a laugh to pick you up. How about working on a crossword puzzle or a jigsaw puzzle? Or start again on that hobby you were too busy to do last summer.
- Celebrate the present, but don’t forget the past. You may be one of the many older adults mourning the loss of loved ones and aren’t ready to make new holiday memories without them. You can pay special remembrance to family members who have passed away by looking at old photos, preparing their favorite foods, or going around the room and sharing your favorite memories about them. By acknowledging deceased family members, you are reminded that although the people who played such crucial roles in your holiday memories are gone, they’re certainly not forgotten.
During this holiday season, life’s difficulties can take center stage. While we may struggle with our personal challenges, there is always much to be thankful for. I wish you the very best and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The stand-up comedian known for her self-deprecating humor, wild hair, and clothes and who as Linda Frizzell points out taught her and many of us how to laugh at ourselves and accept who we are was Phyliss Diller. I received correct answers from Lucile Stephens, Steven Woolpert, Doug Nelson, Lana Tepfer, Donna Mollett, Rhonda Spies, Rebecca Abrams, Kim Birge, Pat Evenson-Brady, Sandy Haechrel, Lana Tepfer, and Marny Weting, this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket. Last week I missed Ruth Radcliffe and Samantha and Jeff Irwin.
Lana Tepfer shared with me her favorite hint from Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints. “It’s okay to let your kids write their initials in the dust on your furniture but NOT the date.”
I remember driving to Thanksgiving dinner listening to the radio and hearing this song which has become a tradition each Thanksgiving for many classic rock radio stations. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this 1967 satirical talking blues song by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, about the place where ”you can get anything you want”? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788, or send it with a picture of the old church building in Stockbridge, Massachusetts where Arlo Guthrie spent Thanksgiving Day.
Brain Tease: Another teaser where you must think outside the celebrated box.
What word starts with `e` ends with `e` and only has one letter in it?
Well, it’s been another week, asking myself how can young kids walk around in freezing temperatures only wearing a t-shirt. Until we meet again, take time to hold hands even if they are cold.
Nutritious home-delivered and in-person meals are available at noon Monday through
Friday unless otherwise noted.
Seniors of Mosier Valley (541-980-1157) – Mondays and Wednesdays; Hood River
Valley Adult Center (541-386-2060); Sherman County Senior and Community Center
(541-565-3191); The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels (541-298-8333)
For meal sites in Washington, call Klickitat County Senior Services – Goldendale office
(509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068); Skamania County Senior
Answer: An envelope!