As the holiday season approaches it is common to expect a feeling of joy to erupt among your loved ones. However for some, the holidays bring a sense of loneliness and depression, better yet known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
With the SAD season in full bloom among the colder regions, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that someone close to you may be experiencing. Seniors especially are prone to the blues this holiday season can bring. With years of experience and happy moments behind them, this time of year can resurface emotions of the losses they have endured over the years. This is even more true in 2020, with almost a year of social distancing and quarantines keeping people apart and isolated for long stretches of time.
As an adult child, close relative or friend of someone experiencing this form of limited interest, you have the power to help lift their spirits and help them through this difficult time. As a loved one of someone going through SAD, there are a few tips to help them through this holiday season.
1) Listen and understand
Whether it be a conversation of negative statements or reminiscing over hurtful memories, let them know you’re there for them. Empathy can go a long way and could motivate them to open up to you, releasing the painful thoughts that have taken over. It’s also important to remember to shine light on the positive moments and all of the beautiful things that have happened after, or because of the terrible moments they are holding dear to.
2) Include them in your celebration
Remind your loved one of their critical role in your holiday moments. Some victims of SAD will feel like a burden, but encouraging them to participate in seasonal activities–with the proper social distancing standards in place–and pointing out their importance to you and your family is a great way to bring them out of their holiday funk.
3) Remind them
Encourage them to remember the joy they have given to you and so many others over the years. By simplifying the holidays, you can remind them of what this time of year is truly all about; the love of family and the beautiful moments that you can cherish forever.
4) Bake traditional sweets
Baking or bringing holiday treats to your loved ones can surely brighten their spirits, especially if its something they used to enjoy making at one point in time. If they are in a facility, bringing enough for them to share with their friends is a sure way to help strengthen their relationships in their community.
Assist them in decorating their home or room with festive items to encourage the feel for the holiday season.
6) Spend time with them
The most critical tip we can give you is to physically be present–as much as it’s safe. If you and your family are staying safe and not showing symptoms of COVID-19, make sure to spend time with them to show your appreciation and their importance in your life. Those who suffer from SAD commonly feel unloved or under appreciated, so it’s vital to remind them how essential their existence is to your life and to your holiday celebrations.
So spread the love this season and keep your loved ones not only in your mind and your heart, but welcome into your homes–just remember to keep safety in mind first and foremost.