Hearing Loss and the Holidays: Choosing to Thrive!
by Envoy Medical Staff Member, on November 30, 2020
Many call it the most wonderful time of the year, but managing a pandemic has made it challenging for everyone to feel the same joy and connectedness this Holiday Season. With or without hearing loss we all will have to be extra creative and dig a little deeper to make the holidays healthy and happy.
Living with a chronic condition, requires us to try even harder, and hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States. People living with Hearing loss experience increased levels of stress, frustration, isolation and depression and therefore need to be proactive.
We rounded up some of the best advice we could on what steps you can take to ensure this holiday season is a healthy one!
We are now physically isolated by design and seeing the faces of friends and loved ones and communicating with them is more important than ever. “Socializing not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but also it helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer", says Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist. "While in-person is best, connecting via technology also works.”
Need suggestions on hearing loss friendly communications? Click here.
Don’t forget to exercise
Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.2 Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Make it even better by getting outside when it’s weather permitting. Remember, it’s about moving, it doesn’t have to be strenuous and should be enjoyed. Try a ten minute walk.
The health benefits of giving to others are well documented and include lower levels of stress and depression, lower blood pressure, longer life, and higher levels of self-esteem and happiness. Doing something nice for someone else can make you both feel better. Breakfast in bed, waving to a neighbor, letting a car merge ahead of you. Small things matter! Simple gestures such as writing a letter or thank you, or sending a $5 donation to a charity you care about is perfect. Research charities that inspire passion if you don’t have one.
Find reasons to laugh
Laugher is an incredible medicine than can activate and relieve your stress response, soothe tension and even improve your immune system. Watch funny movies, tell jokes, share memes and search for comedians or skits on YouTube.
Make gratitude a part of your day
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Take the time to think about what you are grateful for each day. Keep notes on things you like, books you want to read or reread, movies you want to see. Photos you love.
Above all, don’t give up on the holidays you can still decorate, bake your favorite treats, and listen to your favorite holiday music. Even just reminiscing about past experiences can bring joy. Remember to be compassionate with yourself as well!
For a list of charities that help people with hearing loss click here: https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/51626-Hearing-loss-charities-that-make-animpact