Polk, Fit, Fresh and Friendly: St. Luke’s Hospital Senior Life Solutions program provides tips to beat the holiday blues

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Written by Paula Brooks

The following PF3 column was provided by Paula Brooks, program manager of St. Luke’s Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions. Senior Life Solutions program is an intensive outpatient group therapy program designed to meet the unique needs of older adults over the age of 65 struggling with depression and anxiety often related to aging. They focus on helping seniors in the community navigate difficult life transitions and regain their quality of life not just during the holiday season, but year-round. For more information, please call Brooks at 894-9890.

The winter season is upon us, which, for many, means holiday celebrations filled with family and friends. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This builds anticipation for those good times; however, for others, this time of year can be a reminder of lost loved ones, lack of access to family traditions or other changes that may bring about stress and anxiety. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season, and people who already live with a mental health condition should take extra care to tend to their overall health and wellness.

A recent survey showed that 64 percent of people with a diagnosed mental illness report that the holidays make their symptoms worse. 

Below is a list of suggestions that may help counteract the holiday blues:

  Get enough sleep or rest

  Spend time with supportive people

  Don’t drink alcohol if you are feeling down

  Take walks

  Don’t isolate yourself

  Forget perfection

  It’s OK to say no

  Stay within budget

  Set reasonable expectations

  Do something you enjoy

• Enjoy all the wonderful food, but don’t binge

  Invite someone who lives alone to dinner


  Celebrate a loved one’s life by sharing positive memories

• Forgive yourself, we all make mistakes

For some, the holidays can bring on temporary depression, and, for others, it may be chronic. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or a difficult life transition, contact Senior Life Solutions program at 828-894-9890.

PF3 is a group of more than 120 community members, leaders and health professionals working together to plan and implement effective strategies to promote wellness in our community. PF3 welcomes any individual who is interested in joining us to make our community a healthier place for all.  For more information and a complete list of meeting dates, please visit our website at polkfitfreshandfriendly.org.