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If you‘re over 40, chances are you are spending a lot more time alone during the holidays than you‘re used to. Life used to be a flurry of activities - rushing kids here and there, school winter vacations, sledding, Christmas shopping and decorating, cookie baking, and tons of other stuff all packed into about 1 month. Now - the kids are grown up and living their own busy lives, even if they still live at home!

As much as you used to complain about ‘too much to do‘, now you might be feeling sort of lost.

Don’t give in to feeling blue this holiday season. Here are some tips for beating empty nest holiday depression:


I’m amazed at how many people just stop decorating. It’s important to keep up holiday traditions. You might cut down on the outdoor stuff - I did. But people are still going to be coming over. Besides, don’t you enjoy the festive decorations yourself? You can still relish the memories behind the ornaments and decorations. And it gives you something constructive to fill in some of that extra time on your hands. I think Christmas trees are sort of magical. I love just sitting and gazing at the tree. I’ll sit in my favorite rocking chair with a cup of coffee and just relax.

Eat right

There’s a lot of nights where you think you just don’t feel like cooking - and you might feel that it’s not important anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to eat a balanced and nutritious diet now as much as you ever did. Your health is important. Don’t give in to packaged junk. You are worth cooking for. You can cook a healthy meal in as little as 10 to 15 minutes - and you’ll enjoy it a lot more than that frozen stuff.

Did you ever notice that you tend to be more depressed when you don’t eat right? It’s true. Your mind needs certain nutrients to operate at it’s best. Deprive your body of essential nutrients and you can count on depression and illness, and then more depression because you‘re sick - an endless negative cycle. Nip it in the bud.

Turn off the TV

Don't hide inside the TV. That's not living. Take positive actions. Clean the house. Read a book. Get out and get some exercise. If it's cold - go to the mall and walk. You can even make walking friends. Exercise also helps beat depression!

Do those things you didn't have time to do

Remember how you were always saying 'Oh, I'd love to but I don't have the time?" Now you have the time. What's stopping you?

It could be getting together with friends, or volunteering at the church, or food bank, or hospital, or library, or animal shelter. It could be a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. I can think of at least 10 things I’d like to do. How about you?

Don’t turn down invitations

Sometimes we have a tendency to want to wallow in our sorrow. Stop it! Someone asks if you want to go to the store, or go out for lunch, or go to a play, or whatever - GO!

There’s a few older ladies that I know who I felt really sorry for. They went out for lunch. They went shopping. They even went on cruises. But they still always seemed so sad. A little over a year ago, they joined Red Hat. I’ll tell you what - they have changed a lot! They are back to their fun loving selves. I don’t know if it’s because they now have planned activities instead of trying to think of something on their own, or if it’s because it’s a bigger group, but now they are having fun.

There are other groups you can join. Find one with people like you and go for it!

Don't sit around moping. Get out and live life.

Carole is the wizard behind the curtain of [Link Removed] where you can find articles and tips to help you deal with every day life.

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