Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) impacts around 10 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds? This disorder causes people to experience depression during certain seasons, most commonly late fall and winter. And even if you don't have a SAD diagnosis, people of all ages do get bummed during the winter months. Shorter days, bitter cold and the need to stay indoors more all attribute to what is commonly called the Winter Blues.
But seniors living in The Gardens at Barry Road assisted living community can battle Winter Blues with a variety of tips and tricks. Here are just some things you can do to improve your mood and enjoy life more as winter comes to a close for the year.
It sounds simple, but walking regularly is an ideal way to blast through winter blues. First, because aerobic exercise causes your body to produce more mood-boosting endorphins, which means you get a little boost from that natural high. If you can maintain a brisk walk for up to 20 or 30 minutes a day, you'll begin to feel all types of great effects from regular exercise.
Another reason to walk around the community every day is that you can get more socialization and stay involved. You may see others walking and stop to chat with them and exchange news, and walking every day lets you find out about events and other things in the community you may be missing.
Seniors may need to protect their skin from the damaging rays of the sun, but that doesn't mean a bit of careful UV exposure isn't good for you. Sunlight packs a hard vitamin D punch, which is great for your mood, and being in the fresh air (even if it's a bit brisk) can be invigorating. Be conscious of weather and hazards such as cold, snow and ice, but venture outdoors for short walks or to enjoy the community grounds when you can.
Did you know feeling cold constantly can cause you to feel depressed? Ensure the thermostat for your assisted living apartment is set to a comfortable level, and speak to the staff if you're having trouble keeping your space warm enough.
Invest in a few items of cozy clothing, including a favorite sweater, comfortable pants a robe or slippers, and enjoy warm and healthy beverages such as peppermint tea on cold mornings or evenings.
If other measures aren't boosting your mood, consider investing in light therapy. Light boxes are available from Amazon.com and some local retailers. They give off much stronger light than normal lamps or bulbs, and you sit in front of them for up to 30 minutes a day to help improve your mood.
Always talk to a professional before instituting any type of therapy, even natural options. And if you are struggling with depression or other issues any time of the year, reach out to the staff at The Gardens at Barry Road for assistance.
Posted on Mon, February 4, 2019
by The Gardens at Barry Road