Don’t put yourself or your loved one at risk for depression or other illnesses.
By: Tina Glenn & Roget Berendes
Our two worst enemies when it comes to our ability to fight the winter blues are a lack of sunshine and our tendency to shut ourselves off from others during the cold winter months. Sunshine is vital for good mental health, and it also provides our bodies with needed Vitamin D. Socialization is vital to staying connected to the outside world.
Here are some simple ways to help fight the winter blues:
Get more sunlight throughout the day
- Do your reading near a sunny window.
- Put a chair on a south-facing porch for coffee time or bird watching.
- During the warmer hours, get out and find a chore to do.
- Walk the dog or find a friend to take a walk with.
- Invest in a sunlamp. Even artificial light can offer great benefits.
Socialize! We are all social beings. Yes, some of us are more social than others, but everyone needs the stimulation provided by socialization. When we drift away from friends and family and the outside universe, we start losing our social safety net. We also tend to start feeling sorry for ourselves with “pity parties” that soon follow.
Don’t allow the cold weather to keep you from socializing. Get creative and find ways to spend time with others, such as:
- Call a friend or invite someone over for coffee or lunch.
- Get involved at your local senior center.
- Volunteer in your local community, such as an animal shelter, the humane society, Habitat for Humanity, or your church. Reaching outside of ourselves and helping others does a world of good for our mood and staying positive.
- Enroll in a class. Many local universities and community colleges have adult enrichment classes.
- Tour local museums or visit area libraries. Both often have activities and enrichment projects that can keep your brain active and provide an opportunity for socialization.
Keep a pet. Taking care of a dog, cat or other pet is also good for our maintaining a healthy mental outlook. Their needs keep us going and are a wonderful source of unconditional love! If you don’t have a pet, consider visiting your local humane society or animal shelter and donate some love!
Reclusion can be a killer. The medical community maintains that those who shut themselves off from the outside world find themselves without a social safety net and are most at risk for depression and other major illnesses, especially during the cold winter months.
This post was provided by our franchise owners in Guilford, NC, Roget Berendes and Tina Glenn, Owners of FirstLight Home Care of Guilford.