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Here are some ways to beat the post-holiday blues

January 11, 2012
By PEGGY BAKER , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The holiday season is a festive time of year, when family and friends get together, gifts are exchanged, delicious treats are shared, and music and laughter fill the air. However, following New Year's Day, the cheerful mood may turn into the doldrums. Loved ones return to their homes thousands of miles away, the credit card bill arrives, decorations are back in boxes and the scale reveals that too many treats were eaten.

So how can you fight the post-holiday blues? Enlist Right at Home of Southwest Florida to help boost your spirit in the following ways:

Exercise: When you exercise, the brain's executive functions (planning, organizing and multitasking, among others) can improve and dementia is less likely to occur, so take an exercise class or join a walking group to add spark to your step. "Right at Home companions can provide assistance with a light exercise program," said Peggy Baker, owner. "It is one of the many services we provide our clients."

Eat healthy foods: You feel better when you eat a healthy diet; therefore, substitute junk food with fruits, vegetables and healthy fats like fish, nuts and seeds. "Right at Home can plan and prepare healthy meals for you if you find cooking difficult," Peggy said.

Get out of the house: Don't stay cooped up at home all day; engage in an outdoor activity that will make you feel alive and happy. Go to the park or take a trip to the hairdresser. "If you cannot drive or a bus stop or subway station isn't near your home, Right at Home can transport you to where you want to go, so you are not homebound," Peggy said.

Socialize: The human touch releases uplifting endorphins like serotonin, and reduces blood pressure and heart rate, making you more relaxed and content. "Participate in social activities as often as you can," Peggy said. "Have lunch or go to a movie with a friend. By getting out and meeting people, you will keep your mind sharp and give yourself something to look forward to regularly. If you can't leave the house, Right at Home caregivers can provide companionship by playing games, helping with a craft project or simply engaging in conversation all in the comfort of the senior's home."

There are many other ways you can enhance your mood. For example:

Volunteer: Taking time to help others is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and regain perspective.

Listen to music: Music entertains, distracts you from negative thoughts and encourages daydreaming. It can soothe patients with dementia, treat anxiety and insomnia, and lower blood pressure.

Start a hobby or learn a skill: Take up painting, scrapbooking or chess. Challenge yourself by trying something you've always wanted to learn or that stimulates your creativity.

Get a pet: Petting a dog or playing with a cat enhances your mood and lowers stress, so keep yourself company with a furry friend.

Laugh: Follow the adage "laughter is the best medicine"; watch a comedy movie or TV show, read a funny book or swap humorous jokes and stories with a loved one.

By following one of more of these methods, you'll chase those blues away in no time. And remember, Right at Home is always available to provide assistance. However, if you cannot shake your gloomy feeling after trying some of these suggestions, you may be suffering from depression. Contact a professional therapist for help.

About Right at Home of Southwest Florida

The Bonita Springs office of Right at Home is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home Inc., serving Southwest Florida.For more information, contact Right at Home of Southwest Florida at, (239) 949-1070 or by email at:

Peggy Baker is president of the Right at Home Southwest Florida office. Ed.



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