Since we’ve already had our first snowfall of the year—weeks before Thanksgiving, might I add—it’s safe to say that winter is upon us and with that comes the shorter days, colder weather and the general blah feeling you may experience during the winter season. Chances are you’ve woken up on a winter day, finding it difficult to get out of bed, and your mood resembles what you see outside—cold, gray, and dreary.
For most people, that gloom caused by Mother Nature is mild but manageable. But others may be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly known as the “winter blues”, a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. SAD can affect people of any age and usually begins and ends around the same time every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months; draining your energy and making you feel moody.
Below are some tips that you can use to beat the winter blues during these winter months.
- Get Some Sunshine:
Daily doses of sunshine help us feel more energized, cheerful, and engaged. Try to take some time each day to go out while the sun is shining and take advantage of those energy-boosting rays.
- Try a “Light Box”:
Special instruments called “light boxes” mimic outdoor light and are used for those suffering from SAD or sunlight deprivation. This is a great tool to use for those who may have difficulties going outside during the winter months.
- Get Some Exercise:
Get moving! Research has shown that exercise can improve your mood, overall health, susceptibility to illness, and mental sharpness. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for seniors and if the weather is too inclement to take a walk outside, many shopping malls offer scheduled walking times in the early morning hours. Try walking with a friend or family member as it’s a great way to work your muscles and socialize.
- Stay Connected and Socialize:
Maintaining an active social life and keeping in contact with friends and family is another very important way to keep your spirits up and help the winter season pass by. Try to continue to do things that you enjoy or give something new a try. Even a simple phone call with someone you care about will make your day better.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet:
The sense of “hibernation” during the winter season can cause us to crave sweet and carbohydrates which can lead to an unhealthy weight gain. Try to stay healthy through a balanced diet and exercise. Soups with meat for protein and an assortment of vegetables can be a warm satisfying alternative to high-calorie foods.
- Practice Good Hygiene:
With the winter season comes the cold and flu season. Coming down with an illness can make winter seem longer and unpleasant. Practicing good hygiene can increase your chances of staying healthy. Try and get into the habit of doing what healthcare workers do, which is frequently and thoroughly washing their hands throughout the day. Wash hands with and warm water for roughly 20-25 seconds to remove germs. Also, use a sanitizer to wipe down commonly used items to keep them germ-free.
- Think Positive:
Remember, winter won’t last forever. Try to envision the coming days of spring and the sunshine, flowers, and songbirds that come with it. In the meantime, keep things in perspective and enjoy a good book and a warm beverage while you watch the snow fall outside. This too will pass and warm sun-filled days will follow!
We at SYNERGY HomeCare of Barrington understand that the winter season can bring on those winter blues but our wonderful team of caregivers is here to help you or your loved one overcome these symptoms by encouraging the list of activities above and through a number of our other helpful services.
If you or a loved one is ready to talk to a Home Care Professional then give us a call any time to schedule your complimentary in-home care assessment. Together we can improve the quality of life for you or your family member.
Call Us Now! (847) 304-0123