The winter months bring more than just frigid temperatures and snow-covered roads. For many older adults, they also bring a wave of the “winter blues.” Also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when a senior is experiencing the “winter blues” they often experience varying degrees of depression during the winter season due to a lack of sunshine, reduced social interaction, and limited activities.
Fortunately, there are steps seniors can take to increase their mood when it’s cold outside. Here are a few ways seniors can combat feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety in the winter months.
- Eat a balanced diet
The foods you put in your body have a direct impact on your energy levels and mood. Focus on eating a balanced diet and providing your body with the right combination of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Start by making small changes to your diet, like swapping out soda for water or eating vegetables with every meal. At Country Place Senior Living, our dedicated dining staff works with residents to meet their dietary needs and preferences while ensuring optimal health and nutrition. We’d love to share a free meal with you and show you what it’s like to be part of the Country Place family.
- Stay Active
When it’s cold outside, it can be hard to motivate yourself to stay physically active. But exercise, while important all year round, can be an important way to boost your emotional health during the winter months. In fact, regular exercise can increase serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals that help combat seasonal depression.
If you don’t mind the cold temperatures, dress in layers and head outdoors with a friend for a walk. Walking is a great low-impact workout, plus the natural daylight can do wonders for your mood! At Country Place, residents can also take advantage of our onsite fitness classes and continuous sidewalk that wraps around the building as a great way to move their bodies indoors and outdoors on a regular basis. The outdoor sidewalk provides benchmarks that our residents track and regularly push themselves to improve times and distances.
- Stay connected with others
Don’t walk through the winter months alone. Instead, surround yourself with family and friends to avoid feeling isolated and help pass the days. At Country Place Senior Living, you will find ample opportunities to connect with others. Meet neighbors for a game of cards, catch up with a friend over coffee, or join other residents for a bible study. There’s never a shortage of things to do and people to enjoy them with at Country Place Senior Living.
- Pick up a new hobby
Use the winter months as a good opportunity to learn new things and adopt new hobbies. Lifelong learning is great for your mental health and can help improve memory and cognitive skills. Whether you want to start reading more, try your hand at painting, or learn a new recipe, setting out to accomplish something new will help you feel a greater sense of purpose and self-confidence when you’re stuck indoors.
We’re here for you.
Finally, one of the best ways to beat the winter blues is to avoid going through it alone. Talk to your family, friends, and other support people for help. Senior living communities, like Country Place, provide numerous opportunities throughout the year to improve your mental and physical wellbeing, socialize and build meaningful connections with other residents, and become the best version of yourself.