• Battling the holiday blues? Here’s what you can do-0

As we move into the holiday season, we realize these should be happy times with family, friends, and celebrations at the forefront.

But for some of us, the Christmas and New Year’s holidays can leave us feeling isolated and alone. Seniors can have an especially hard time with the holiday season.

While aging and maturity bring the wisdom of years for many people, as well as retirement and freedom, there are inevitable losses experienced with time; also, loneliness and depression can dampen your holidays. These can be dealt with in a positive light, however, according to Bay Medical Sacred Heart family medicine and geriatric physician Alan Woolery, DO, PhD.

He offers these tips to cope with the season:

Stay in touch.

Seniors go a whole day without any contact with another person. Communication is vital to your health and well-being. Make a point to interact with others, even if it is the clerk at the grocery store, the mailman or an across-the-fence neighbor. If personal contact is not possible, stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or by email, text or social media.

Look for social activities.

Check in with your local church, synagogue or senior center. Check the newspaper for free events in your area. Bay Medical Sacred Heart offers season special events and seminars throughout the year, and there are all kinds of special events this time of year to take advantage of. Push yourself out the door!

Volunteer.

While you have earned your retirement, sometimes being away from the workforce can leave you feeling unfulfilled. Many organizations (like the hospital and area schools) need volunteers throughout the year. You can pick your own hours and often there are perks to the job. Bay Medical Sacred Heart offers a free lunch to volunteers on the days they work. Helping out at a daycare or working with pets is also beneficial.

Write it down.

Sometimes it is helpful to keep a journal or a collection of memories, especially as you reflect on your life. Your grandchildren might love “a real letter” from you or enjoy reading recollections from your childhood. Scrapbooking is another way to remember a loved one who has passed away and can make a wonderful gift.

It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of adults aged 65 and over live alone. Don’t let loneliness steal your holiday joy.

If you are looking for a primary care physician on the beach who specializes in geriatrics, call (850) 770-3270 today for an appointment with Dr. Woolery. His office is located next to the new free-standing emergency department, as 11111 Panama City Beach Parkway. (Back Beach Road).