From the Living Longer, Happier, Healthier Series
By Tina Glenn, FirstLight Home Care
Our two worst enemies when it comes to fighting 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 our staying connected to the outside world; so here we are providing a double dose of some of our suggestions to help.
Ways to get more sunlight:
- Do your reading near a sunny window.
- Put a chair on a south-facing porch for coffee 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.
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 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, invite someone over for coffee, or “do lunch or coffee.”
- Get involved at our local Senior Centers.
- Volunteer at a local community service provider, such as our local senior centers, the Guilford County Animal Shelter, The Guilford County Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, or Urban Ministry, to name a few. 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 all our local museums or visit our libraries. Both of these often have activities and enrichment projects that can keep your brain active and provide opportunity for socialization.
Reclusion is 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 the most at risk for depression and other major illnesses. Last point—Keeping a 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 one, visit our local humane society or animal shelter and donate some love!
This article is provided by Roget de Percin Berendes, FirstLight Home Care of Guilford. For more information, call us at 336 808-1351 or visit us online at Guilford.FirstLightHomeCare.com.