eating with grandpaHolidays in the Lehigh Valley and elsewhere are traditionally — and just about mandatory — times of togetherness, joy, and connections. Nobody likes to be a downer at times like these, but the fact is that not everyone enjoys a Norman Rockwell / Hallmark holiday season. Even if the days bring great frivolity, there is always the day after, and that can lead to post-holiday blues.

Feeling blue after the last “Goodbye” is not unusual, especially for seniors and caregivers. Because seniors may not be as active as younger friends and family members, and are often far away from loved ones or unable to get out much, they are prone to feeling let down once the excitement is over. Such sadness can have long-lasting health consequences, both physically and mentally. Preparing for feelings can help lessen the sadness or keep it at bay entirely. Even the action of making plans can be an emotional boost, as can staying connected with loved ones.

Here are some suggestions for both seniors and caregivers:

Re-establish routines Your schedule may have been disrupted by holiday activities, so try to get back to the comfort of normal routines to reset yourself mentally and physically.

Plan trips and reunions Set a date for dinner or an extended visit with loved ones. Just a brief time of travel as an excuse to get out of the house can be refreshing. Do what you can to stay connected!~

Make a list of things to look forward to If you have plans to travel, meet with friends, try new recipes, go to a show, or anything else you like to do, write them down and mark your calendar. This will encourage you to keep moving on.

Relive the good times Collect photos and other memorabilia from the holiday season and other times can trigger those feelings of fun and joy. Memories are a great way to rejoin loved ones who are not present.

Start something new Time to begin that new hobby or class or exercise routine! Start small and slow, and keep your expectations realistic. The last thing you want to do is feel like a failure!

Give back They say misery loves company, but company can always drive away misery! Volunteer to help someone who cannot give back, with meals, mobility, and moments of your time.

Move! Not out of your home, but venture out for walks, exercise, window shopping, dancing, singing, jumping around — whatever gets you going! Listen to happy or inspiring songs, play an instrument, feed the birds. Do something besides sitting and moping!

Get help If your negative emotions are getting the best of you, talk with family members and a healthcare provider if necessary. There is no shame in feeling the way millions of others feel at times!

South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. South Mountain Memory Care is proud to offer a wide range of resident-focused daily activity programming to our residents. Each neighborhood offers activity space for group and one-on-one activities.

The brand-new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs, are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to southmountainmemorycare.com.