Many of our residents tell us they feel depressed and isolated during the holiday season. We are committed to providing a festive winter holiday season for our residents, which includes individuals, seniors, and families with children. While having stable housing helps beat some winter blues, this time of year is still challenging for many with the colder weather, shorter days, and cultural expectations around family and celebrations.
TNDC staff aim to help break down isolation by creating holiday environments in which everyone can participate. Voluteers assist staff to decorate each of TNDC's 31 buildings, and TNDC holds resident holiday parties, at which volunteers help serve food, in each building.
Our social workers strive to help residents break the cycle of isolation and depression using the best practices and information available. The advice below was published by the Mayo Clinic and is useful for anyone struggling through the season.
1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it is normal to feel sadness and grief. It is okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You cannot force yourself to be happy just because it is the holiday season.
2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
3. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
4. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
5. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Pictured on left:
A woman and child celebrate Christmas