Winter’s a time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. For many seniors, however, it’s also a time of combating seasonal disorders and winter blues. Cold, dark winter days can play on seniors’ emotions, triggering a disorder called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD symptoms can include sadness, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and lack of interest in socializing with others. Seniors are also prone to Vitamin D deficiency during winter due to limited sunlight; this deficiency can trigger depressive feelings and mood swings.
You may not be able to control winter weather, but you can take measures to minimize depression caused by seasonal disorders and winter blues. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Brighten Your Environment
During winter, when days tend to be shorter and darker, your body may crave the sunlight of spring and summer. Chase away the shadows by opening curtains and shades to allow more natural light into your home. A brighter environment is sure to boost your mood. You may even get some extra Vitamin D by exposing yourself to more sunlight. Wearing colorful clothing during winter can also help to bring a little more cheer into your environment.
Get Out and Exercise
Winter weather may restrict outdoor sports, but you should still try to get as much exercise as possible. You can schedule outdoor walks during the warmest part of the day to get fresh air and sunlight. Regular outside time will leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
If the sidewalks are too slippery from snow or ice, try walking inside a mall. Improve your mood by listening to upbeat tunes as you walk. Getting out of the house regularly during winter can help keep winter blues at bay. Everyone needs a change of scenery from time to time to keep them happy and inspired.
Guard Your Health
Your physical health will affect your mental and emotional state. By taking steps to improve your health, you can combat depression. A wholesome diet is key to getting the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain good mental and physical health.
Lack of Vitamin D, for example, can make you more prone to depression. In winter, you can get sufficient Vitamin D by eating foods rich in this vitamin. Egg yolk, fatty fish, cheese and beef liver are just a few of the many foods rich in vitamin D. Foods like milk, juice, and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D and can also help protect you against mood swings. In addition to getting Vitamin D from food, you can take a supplement to avoid Vitamin D deficiency.
Don’t let winter blues put a damper on your holiday season. With the help of Sunny Days In-Home Care, you can survive winter blues and enjoy all that the season has to offer. Our professional in-home senior caregivers can help make your golden years some of the best years of your life. For quality senior care services at affordable costs, call us at 724-260-5186 today.