Seniors in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and throughout the Bay Area often have what many people refer to as the “winter blues,” however many people actually suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. This can be attributed to the fact that during winter months, daylight hours are shorter. Regardless of whether it’s SAD or simply the winter blues, there are some things you can do to beat it! Bay Area seniors aren’t the only ones affected; if you’re a caregiver, you may want to take these tips to heart as well.
When the weather is mild, get outside as much as you can. Warm, sunny weather is the best medicine for the blues, so enjoy time outdoors during the daytime.
A light box could be just what the doctor ordered. When you can’t enjoy the natural outdoor light because of rainy or cloudy conditions, a light box can work wonders, providing artificial light that research claims is as effective as medications prescribed for depression.
Spend more time with loved ones. Nothing lifts your spirits and calms your nerves like spending time with loved ones you enjoy being around. Talking, laughing, sharing old memories – all of these things make you feel better. If you can’t share time in the physical presence of friends and loved ones, talk on the phone or via social media.
Engage in physical activity – but do it during the daylight hours. Exercise is proven to lift your mood, even when you don’t have the blues. Whether you do simple stretching, yoga, or another type of exercise, do it outdoors when possible. When the weather doesn’t permit exercising outdoors, do it inside in a room with plenty of bright lights or lots of windows.
Eat healthier foods. You are what you eat, and the foods you eat also impact your mental health. While you may think that piece of pie or brownie is just the thing to make you feel better, it could actually worsen depression. Instead, opt for healthier choices like nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Give to the community and it will give back to you. Whether you volunteer at a hospital or shelter, or do something else, helping others makes you feel good – and you get to be more connected socially as well because you’re around other people. Make others feel better, and you will reap the rewards!
At Care Indeed we know many people experience the winter blues, not just seniors. Those in need of in-home caregiving services in the Bay Area can count on our team for compassionate, trustworthy care.