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December 1, 2023

Embracing the Holiday Season: Finding Joy and Connection Amidst the Blues with Rock Creek Senior Living

Category: Wellness

Author: Kailee Bonebrake, Director of Wellness

For many, the holiday season is a joyful, happy time built around togetherness, family, and friends. Still, for some, it can be very stressful and filled with overwhelming expectations, depression, and anxiety. The holiday season can be a reminder of those who are not with us anymore, financial limitations, sadness from being separated from loved ones, and the loss of treasured traditions.

At Rock Creek Senior Living, we understand celebrating this time of year doesn’t have to be sad or overwhelming. It can be a peaceful time of reminiscing, volunteering, spending time with friends, and creating new traditions!

Some common causes of depression during the holiday season are:

  • not being with your family or friends
  • missing loved ones who have passed away
  • financial stress
  • limited mobility

The signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress we should monitor for during the holiday season, including isolation or withdrawal from activities or social events, loss of appetite or weight loss, increased sadness, crying, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness, and agitation.

To help residents eliminate the holiday blues, we reminisce about their favorite holiday activities and food, get involved in community holiday events, and talk about how they feel. Loneliness is one of the most common causes of depression in older adults during the holiday season. To help combat that, we spend one-on-one time with residents, encourage them to call their family and friends, stress the importance of keeping their routine, and validate their feelings.

New and fulfilling traditions are encouraged within our community by helping residents make plans with their friends in the community. We have them tell us the activities they used to do and try to incorporate them into the holiday events. I also encouraged families to bring some festivities to them.

The holiday season means different things to each of us. The holidays are about family, friends, food, and tradition. For many, the smells, tastes, and decorations bring memories flooding back. We hope some of these ideas will help you as the holidays approach.

Rock Creek Senior Living in Ankeny, IA offers senior villas, independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Mercy One Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Briarwood Golf, The District Shopping Center, Saylorville Lake Marina, Big Creek State Park, and Ankeny Community Theater.

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