5 Tips for Combatting the Winter Blues
As we move into the winter months, many people will experience some form of the “winter blues.” This is when your mood and even physical health can take a downturn due to colder weather, lack of sunshine, and overall feeling a bit run down. Technically called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this condition can be particularly common in our aging senior population. Keep reading to learn how you and those you love can combat SAD or the winter blues by taking proactive measures.
- Set a goal for each day.
In the winter, especially for our senior population, the days can blend together and feel like one big block of time without much to divide things up. One way to combat the feeling that every day is the same is by setting a unique goal for each day. Wake up and determine what you wish to accomplish with your time. It’s okay if some days this is just a small goal like 10 minutes of stretching or organizing that junk drawer. The purpose is to provide something that you can look back on and identify each day as being a little bit different because you didn’t keep the same exact routine. You’ll also enjoy all that you can accomplish day by day when you set a goal and stick to it.
- Soak up the sunshine.
Seeing and feeling the sunshine is a powerful way to overcome the winter blues. Not every day will offer the opportunity to sit in the sun’s warmth on your porch or at a park, but take advantage of the days that do allow this. All it takes is a few minutes to soak up some Vitamin D and give your mood a lift. One benefit of having a professional caregiver there with your aging loved one during the day is that they can be sure to select an activity or two that involves being outside and getting some fresh air.
- Connect with family and friends.
During a pandemic, this is not as easy as it once was, but there are still opportunities to connect with friends and family at least once a week. This could be a scheduled phone call, video chat, or stopping by for lunch or coffee. If you use social media, you can use these platforms as a way of staying connected. Just be sure to not let scrolling through your newsfeed replace the need to connect with people on a deeper level, especially during the winter months.
- Fuel your body.
Eating nutrient-dense foods is not only good for keeping illness at bay, it’s also a smart way to ensure you have enough energy and the right vitamins to fight off the winter blues. When you’re feeling physically well, you are more likely to feel mentally well. A little indulgence here and there is perfectly fine, but be sure to fill your plate with healthy options at mealtime.
- Change things up.
And finally, don’t forget to switch up your routine and surroundings from time to time. Try out some new recipes so you’re not eating the same things each day, pick a new outfit you haven’t worn in a while, or explore a new hobby you’ve not yet tried. The days won’t all blend together when you keep incorporating change into your schedule. A series of small changes will create a whole new look and feel for your winter season.
Do you or a loved one experience the winter blues? How do you keep things sunny during the colder months? Share ideas and inspiration in the comments below.