The winter brings with it inclement weather, mid-season holidays and many reasons to celebrate. But sadly, for some people, it can also bring seasonal depression.
If you've experienced these feelings in the past or have had struggles with them, always know that there are people you can talk to about it. There are also things you can do on your own to help you shake these feelings and turn your winter season bright again.
First of all, remember that winter is only a season, and in warmer climates, the essence of winter is purely psychological. Sure, holidays and menorahs may remind you what month and time of year it is, but these are just symbols.
Other than the weather in other parts of the world, there's very little to differentiate winter from spring or summer. But if you're feeling down, try some of the following strategies to pick up your spirits and get yourself smiling:
Get Plenty of Light
Open your curtains! Raise those blinds! Let the sunshine in, both literally and figuratively. Studies show that sunlight, and daylight in general, has more positive effects on a person's background mood than any other factor.
Also, don't forget to get enough sleep at night. As the saying goes "Early to bed, early to rise." The more daylight you see during the day, (especially when daylight hours are fewer), the better your body's hormonal balance will be, keeping your mood high.
Socialization is key to boosting spirits and turning a frown upside down. Seeing old friends and family, as well as making new acquaintances, has a markedly positive result on many people's outlooks.
Don't just say hello, start a conversation! Sit down and join your friends in a game, a chat, a class or a lively discussion. Talking gets the mental juices flowing and reminds you that other people have topics to share and pleasant memories, and they are likely just as interested in the things you have to say.
There's a reason why all those people you see exercising on television are smiling all the time. Nothing will boost your energy and mood faster than healthy exercise. Whether it's a walk, stretching, dancing or yoga, increasing your heart rate will get your blood flowing, stimulate your brain and lift your mood.
Good nutrition isn't just important for your body's health, it has a large impact on your mental state as well. Research shows that junk food containing poor nutritional value has negative effects on the brain in addition to the body.
Sugar, alcohol, empty calories and carbohydrates all leave the brain wanting real nutrients and replenishment. So be sure to get protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat from sources like fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and plants.
Also, be sure you're getting enough food overall every day as too little will irritate the appetite and can lead to headaches and a poor mood.
Eating enough food will help keep your body warm from calories, but you can also take steps like wearing extra clothes and sweaters to keep your body's temperature high and your natural heat conserved. This is to keep your heart from having to do as much work in circulating your blood.
If you find yourself shivering during the day or at night, this is a sign that you're not warm enough, and you should take steps immediately to counteract this.
At Beverly Hills Carmel retirement community, we take extra care to make sure our assisted living residents are enjoying themselves and keeping the winter blues at bay. We want our residents to be happy and healthy and to have a positive outlook every day.
If you're thinking of joining a retirement community like ours, come take a tour of Beverly Hills Carmel today and see how we keep a smile on our residents' faces.