As the holidays come to an end, it’s not unusual to sense a shift in your mood. January brings freezing temperatures and shorter days, which can make us all feel a bit more sluggish, unmotivated, and down. Older adults, in particular, are at risk for the “winter blues” because they tend to spend more time indoors in the cold winter months.
While everyone is affected differently by the winter blues, the good news is that many home remedies can help to ease the symptoms. Take a look at these great ways to lift your mood and beat the winter blues:
#1: Get a daily dose of sunshine
In the winter, there are fewer daylight hours, which can disrupt your body’s internal clock and impact your mood. Exposure to sunlight is the best solution, but when days are gray and cloudy, a light therapy lamp can help. These special lamps mimic natural sunlight and shine much brighter than regular indoor lighting. Try sitting in front of a light therapy lamp for 30 minutes each morning while you get ready for your day.
#2: Practice good sleep habits
Less sunlight in the winter can also cause sleep problems like insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping), which may lead to daytime grogginess. Here are some easy, natural ways to improve your sleep habits:
- Set a regular bedtime
- Wind down for the evening by reading a book or sipping a warm beverage
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine in the late afternoon
- Only use your bed for sleeping, not watching TV or using digital devices
#3: Stay active
One of the simplest ways to lift your spirits in the winter is to exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can make all the difference in your mood and energy levels. Low-impact activities like walking, chair yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are easy on the joints and beneficial for older adults experiencing the winter blues.
#4: Eat well
During the winter season, it’s easy to reach for comfort foods or sugary treats. However, eating too many carb-heavy meals may leave you feeling fatigued. Instead, snack on energy-boosting foods like nuts, fruits, and veggies. When you’re craving a warm, comforting dish, try swapping out casseroles or pasta for healthier alternatives like soups and stews.
#5: Connect with others
The dreary winter weather might make you feel like hibernating, but socialization is essential for mental and physical health. Be sure to stay connected to family and friends, whether you meet face-to-face, talk on the phone, or even video chat.
Moving to an assisted living community can help older adults beat the winter blues and remain healthy, active, and engaged all year round. In an assisted living community, residents live independently but receive help with daily activities like medication management, grooming, bathing, and getting dressed.
Best of all, assisted living residents enjoy an active, engaged lifestyle in a welcoming community of their peers. Daily social activities like fitness classes, book clubs, and volunteering provide endless opportunities for new friendships and help assisted living residents keep the winter blues at bay. To learn more about assisted living at Bethany Village, please contact us. We would be delighted to speak with you and answer your questions!