V!VA Mississauga Tips for Seniors to Beat the Winter Blues
Published on November 5, 2021
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can occur during any time of year, but it’s most common during the cold and dark winter months. As the temperatures rapidly begin to drop this time of year and the daylight hours get shorter, it’s easy to let yourself get swept away by the winter blues. Seniors living in retirement homes in Mississauga and other parts of the GTA are especially susceptible to feeling the winter blues. While finding ways to beat the winter blues isn’t always easy, we’ve come up with some great tips to get seniors in better spirits this winter.
What Are the Winter Blues?
As the weather outside gets colder and sunlight fades a lot faster, it’s very common for people to feel extremely lethargic and just all around down during this time of year. The formal term for this weather-related depression is seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder can affect people in different ways. Some people actually feel it during the spring and summer months because they prefer cold and crisp weather conditions as opposed to warmth and an abundance of sunshine.
No matter which way you slice it, however, this feeling can be all-consuming and it’s so much more than just a normal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Understanding it is the first step. Here are some symptoms of the winter blues that you should know about:
- Appetite and weight changes
- Feeling sluggish and agitated
- Low energy
- Having a hard time concentrating
- Brain fog
- Frequent suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness
- Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities and pastimes
10 Tips for Seniors Living in Mississauga to Beat the Winter Blues
Dealing with the winter blues can be extremely unpleasant. Symptoms can vary in type and severity. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat this feeling and uplift the moods of seniors living in retirement residences in Mississauga and the GTA.
Get All the Sunlight and Vitamin D You Can
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has unique mood and immunity boosting properties that can make you feel better during the cold and dark winter months. On days when the sun isn’t shining and the clouds are abundant, vitamin D is a good substitute for the missing sunshine in your life. Whenever possible, however, you should try to get outside and enjoy as many bright and sunny days as possible. Studies have shown that safe exposure to sunshine can actually make you feel happier, even if you’re having a bad day.
Keep Curtains Open to Let Natural Light in
It may be tempting to close all the curtains and just stay in bed all day when you’re feeling the winter blues, but the simple act of letting natural light into your space can actually make you feel more energized and ready to face the day. So, go ahead. Open all of your curtains and let the beautiful natural light brighten up your space.
Go for Walks as Much as Possible
Most people prefer to stay indoors in their warm living spaces during the cold winter months, but getting outside and breathing in that crisp, cool air has been proven to have some excellent health benefits. Going for walks on mild winter days can help energize you and uplift your mood while allowing you to get some moderate exercise.
Maintain a Daily Exercise Routine
To build even further on that point, it’s helpful to maintain a daily exercise routine. Schedule different exercises to get you moving every single day and keep you active. Exercises don’t have to be high intensity. Even something as simple as early morning meditations, hatha yoga, or tai chi to help keep you mentally stimulated and limber can have a positive impact on your overall mood and outlook. V!VA Retirement Communities in Mississauga has some awesome daily exercise classes for seniors, so you and your friends can all join in on the fun and get active!
Have Fun and Find Ways to Manage Stress
Being left alone with your thoughts when you’re feeling the winter blues can be difficult to say the least. Distract yourself by engaging in a fun social or solitary pastime such as knitting, reading a book, watching your favourite show or movie, going for a long walk, swimming, etc. Anything you can do to manage stress and keep negative thoughts at bay will help you get through this difficult time.
Follow a Balanced and Healthy Diet
Food and good nutrition have a significant impact on your daily mental and physical well-being. Think of the food you eat as fuel for your body. Putting the wrong type of fuel in such as junk food can hinder the performance of your mind and body, causing you to feel fatigued and listless. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables, and protein can boost your brain power and energy levels.
Look Forward to the Holidays
Having something good to look forward to can uplift your spirits. With the holidays just around the corner, you can start preparing for fun family get-togethers in advance to take your mind off of your winter blues.
Keep an Active Social Life
Socializing with friends and family is important for seniors. It can make you feel like you’re connected to other people. After living in isolation for the past two years, socializing and spending time with loved ones is more valuable than ever.
Set and Accomplish Simple Daily Goals
Something as simple as making the bed every single day and cleaning up after yourself or walking a certain distance can make you feel motivated and give you the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals. No goal is too small to be included in your daily routine. As long as it’s something that makes you feel good, that’s all that matters.
Set a Daily Schedule and Follow It
Following a daily routine, even it’s as simple as waking up and eating at the same time every day, gives you a strong sense of purpose. Keep up with your daily exercise, appointments, and fun activities to help fill your day and use a calendar or planner to help you keep track of everything.
Senior Living at V!VA Retirement Communities
V!VA Mississauga is proud to provide a plethora of fun daily and weekly activities and classes to help keep seniors stimulated and energetic every single day. From cooking and dance classes to swimming, aerobics, and outdoor exercise, the fun never stops at V!VA Retirement Communities. Contact us today to learn more or to book an in-person tour!