At this time of year, everyone is saying “Happy Holidays” or something similar to mark the season. For many, however, this time of year, with its increasing darkness, is a season of grieving. It might be the first year without a loved one. Or your loved one has moved elsewhere. Or you’ll be alone throughout much of the season and it makes you sad thinking about earlier years when the season was filed with family events or parties. For me, this year will be the first spent without my husband of 29 years as he is serving overseas and cannot get home. So, it will definitely be a different holiday for us.
Whatever the reason for feeling blue, you’re not alone and there are things that you can do to help you navigate these waters. Here’s a great article by the National Council on Aging regarding holiday grief and 7 strategies for handling it. Personally, I find the fifth strategy listed – take care of yourself – is critically important. By exercising regularly, eating healthfully, and taking some time to just relax, I find that I am better able to care for my mother, and frankly, I’m happier, despite the lack of sunlight. I also try to ensure that I get together with friends so that I’m not isolated in my caregiving responsibilities.
These things work for me. If you’re one that struggles with grief around this time of year, I encourage you to develop some strategies. If one strategy is to socialize more, then sign up for the Village Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 13th from 2-4pm at the Broadmoor, located at 3601 Connecticut Avenue, NW. We will have a great assortment of appetizers and desserts as well as fun games, activities, and camaraderie. We will also be collecting unwrapped gifts for children living at The Brooks, a short-term, family housing facility in our neighborhood. I hope you’ll join us for this wonderful event. Members Plus (those eligible to receive services from our volunteers) may request a ride by emailing us ASAP or calling 202-615-5853.