Finding a Cure for the Post-Holiday Blues
By Jean Donahue
done everything possible to make the just-completed holiday season special
for your loved one. You cooked special meals and snacks, arranged visits
and gatherings with their friends and relatives, decorated their room or
home, took part in special events with them, and several other things.
They laughed and smiled and told you how much they enjoyed everything. You
knew inside yourself they had a good holiday.
the decorations are down and life for your loved one is returning to
normal. But they seem so down. They donít smile much. They just donít
appear happy any more.
problem isnít anything youíve done. Your loved one did enjoy
the holiday. Itís just that theyíre experiencing something called the
ďpost-holiday blues.Ē (Sometimes it affects caregivers, too, doesnít
factors influence your loved oneís post-holiday blues. If you understand
those influences and what can help your loved one deal with the blues,
perhaps you can bring back to the happy person they were during the
all seem to look forward to the holidays. There are happy songs, special
programs on television, parties and visits with family and friends,
special meals, presents and many other activities. Itís a happy time,
but things still arenít like they used to be.
loved one used to be able to do what they wanted, when they wanted. They
canít do that now. They helped create happy holidays for you and the
rest of their family. They canít do that now either. They need your
help, and they may be facing or thinking about the end of their life. They
may live several more years, but they are still thinking about their end.
No matter what you do, you canít override that possibility.
holidays inevitably bring thoughts of friends and family. Seniors,
especially, have lost people who were special to them over the past year.
Remembering those people Ė and their loss Ė brings pain, sadness and
grief. I donít need someone to take care of me, but I have that same
problem. I have a couple of holiday angels, one for Mom and one for Dad,
that I hang on my Christmas tree every year. The funeral home gave them to
me the first Christmas after Mom and Dad died, and I appreciate those
ornaments so much. Iím still looking for a cat angel to hang with Mom
and Dadís angels. My cat was a big part of the last 4-1/2 years of my
holiday brings thoughts of past holidays, and those past holidays were so
much happier and busy. There is no way this holiday can compare with the
ones experienced in the past when everyone was younger and more active.
Even if your loved one tries to forget the differences, they canít. They
just canít relive the happy holidays they experienced in the past. Why
wouldnít they feel sad?
feeling the temporary happiness of the holidays, there is a powerful
feeling of emptiness when that is gone. Everyone experiences that feeling.
Then there are other specific things that may cause your loved one to feel
sad. They may be unhappy with what they did with their life Ė maybe they
havenít accomplished what they intended or had broken relationships that
still hurt. They may have spent the holiday alone, even though they saw
friends and family and participated in activities before the actual
holiday. They simply may be tired and they may not feel well. They may
worry about money. There are a multitude of problems that may contribute
to the post-holiday blues.
what can you do to help your loved one get over this seasonal problem?
of all, you must remember that what works for one person may not work for
another. There isnít a fixed set of guidelines that will solve the
problem for everyone, but there are suggestions that may help. Once you
read them, try to think of other things that may help your loved one.
general, try to find some way to help them out of the post-holiday blues.
It is a normal feeling and it isnít because you did something wrong.
Itís just something that goes along with the holidays. And you may be
helped by the process too!