With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a time of year that many anticipate all year round, a season of happiness and joy, shared with family and friends.  But for many, feelings of sadness, loneliness, and isolation are their holiday companions.

You might expect someone who has been widowed, lost close friends or family, or may be suffering from ill health, to have a sense of sadness at this time of the year.  So what’s the answer? 

The answer may lie with those that make a conscious effort to restore the joy of the season that will find the holidays are still the most precious time of year. Those who I have talked to about this issue shared some advice with me which I would like to share with you.

Taking these few steps:

  •  Don’t isolate yourself. If you can be with family, invite some close friends over to share the holidays.  Be the entertainer, and the host.
  • Volunteer your time. So many churches, civic groups, and local organizations are in need of your help.  Helping others is the best way to forget about your own troubles.
  • Try to avoid alcohol, or imbibe in moderation. Because it is a depressant, it will only intensify those feelings of sadness.
  • Watch your finances, especially if you are on a fixed income.  Over spending will cause worry over bills after the holidays are over. Set your budget for gift giving and stick to it.
  • Don’t deny or try to hide any feelings of sadness. Very often just being able to share your feelings with someone can help to cope with post-holiday letdown.  Spend some of your alone time organizing and displaying photographs taken during the holiday. 

 Just remember when the holidays arrive, take time to relive the fun, spend time around other people, and as always reflect on the good in your life, no matter what your present situation is. 

And please keep in mind, all too often we worry about the gifts this time of year, and in the end it’s not the presents that we remember it’s the time we shared with others that leaves a lasting memory.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at The St. Luke Family of Caring!

About Julie: Julie Chetney is Director of Senior Services for The St. Luke Family of Caring affiliates. Julie has served in various roles with the organization over her twenty-one year career including Volunteer Coordinator at St. Luke, Senior Living Coordinator at Bishop’s Commons, and Director of St. Francis Commons. An expert in residential care options for older adults, Julie can be reached at 315-326-0840 or by email at jchetney@bcommons.com.