Watching Out For Depression in Loved Ones After the Holidays
The holidays can be a fun-filled time full of great memories, delicious food and exciting happenings. But for many, the days and weeks that follow can be tough. The constant questions on social media of "did you lose the weight" or "did you get out of debt" can get people down and send them into a funk for the new year. Those with chronic illnesses or physical limitations can feel these effects even greater, and that's why it's important to watch out for those early warning signs of depression.
Here are a few ideas to help with those who might be affected by the post-holiday blues:
1. Be Present
Check in on them often, even stopping by unexpectedly just to talk or visit with them. Bring them an easy-maintenance plant or a thank you card for making your holiday extra special. Often times depression sinks in when our loved ones start to feel lonely or sad. Be proactive and stay in front of them if possible. If you can't be there, find someone who can, such as a relative or close friend, or even a Kind Companion.
2. Involve Them
Keep them up to date on other events, such as a family birthdays and special days planned. Make sure they know in advance when they will see everyone again, and offer to help them pick out a special outfit for the event, or make a family favorite dish together.
3. Keep Routines
Try to keep them on a regular routine. If your loved one stayed up extra late during the holidays, but is typically an early riser, make sure they are able to get back into their old routines. If you suddenly notice they are sleeping until the afternoon or unable to sleep at night, you may need to visit with them or their doctor.
4. Continue Making Memories
Sometimes our loved ones have a hard time following the holidays because everyone goes back to work, school or flies home. A great way to continue those memories is to print pictures of the holidays and preserve them. Make them a scrapbook or photo album. Better yet, include them and make the scrapbook together. That way when you have to leave and they are home alone, they have something to look at and remember.
These are just a few tips on helping your loved ones steer clear of the post-holiday depression or blues. Keep in mind that depression is a chemical imbalance and cannot always be prevented. If your loved one is suffering, don't take it personally or feel guilty you could not prevent it. Just make sure you seek help from a doctor, their nurse or psychologist. If Kind Companions can help you with non-medical assistance such as helping your loved one with activities of daily living, running errands, transportation to or from doctor appointments or just sitting by their side at home, please don't hesitate to contact us.