The winter months can be challenging for anyone. The cold can really deplete our willpower to get up and moving. Plus, the lack of sunlight can drain our positive energy. Unfortunately, we’re not like bears, so we can’t just hibernate through these months. It’s important, especially for seniors, to be as active as possible and to prevent isolation. Below are some tips to remain physically and mentally healthy during the winter.
It may seem obvious, but even temperatures indoors can drop below your level of comfort. Clearly you don’t want to be outside in shorts and a t-shirt. Make sure you’re wearing a winter coat with a hat to cover your ears and gloves to keep your fingers warm. However, as stated previously, take note of the temperature indoors. You might find yourself growing uncomfortable, which is why it’s crucial to dress in layers even when you’re inside. This keeps your body temperature from dropping too quickly and provides you with the extra benefit of being able to shed a few layers if you grow too hot. It’s a win-win!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that hits us when the seasons change. It’s fairly regular to experience a drop in your mood around late fall and early winter. The lack of sunlight can really take a toll on us. You might experience low energy and irritability during this time. However, it’s important to shed those feelings. You must resist the urge to isolate yourself and make sure you’re taking time out of your day to talk to your loved ones or spend some time with close friends. This will help boost your mood and prevent SAD from becoming a more permanent form of depression.
Another way to beat the “winter time blues” is to remain active. We know that this can be difficult to accomplish when all you want to do is remain tucked in with a nice blanket by a cozy fireplace. But by staying active, you’re certainly doing yourself a favor. This is due to endorphins. They’re the chemical that gets released from your brain during and after a strenuous workout. They help remove pain and give you a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, in order to help eliminate any negative thoughts you might be having about the winter. Not to mention, by staying active, you’re tiring out your body, so you can sleep even sounder during the night. That way you can wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day!
Watch Your Diet
We tend to stay in more during the winter months. As a result, our diets become a little less healthy, due to the fact that take out foods and frozen dinners are a little less healthy than your standard home cooked meal. If the weather allows it, make sure you’re still frequenting the grocery store to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean meats to prepare for your meals. Keep your diet well varied in the winter months, because it can become a little bland if we only eat the snacks in our cupboard. If this occurs, your body might become a little deficient due to a deficiency in nutrients. Always make sure you’re maintaining a well-balanced diet!
The best way to achieve all four of these tips is to ask for help! There’s certainly no shame in asking a friend to accompany you to the gym or asking a loved one to take you to the grocery store. The winter time can be a rough few months with shorter days and colder nights. OR it can be a time to see more of your family and friends and a chance to be more active. The choice is yours!