Avoid the winter blues with these activities.
While warm summer days tend to cheer us up, the cooler, darker winter season can bring us down. Seasonal affective disorder (aka SAD) is the official name for those familiar winter blues. It affects 10-20% of Americans, so if you feel down during this time of year, you’re certainly not alone!
There are a variety of ways to combat the winter blues, including:
- Take a vitamin D supplement
- Find a space full of light
- Stay active, indoors or out
- Enjoy colorful, mood-boosting foods
- Connect with friends and family
Let’s dive deeper into these ways to combat the winter blues and support your physical and mental health until spring arrives!
Take a vitamin D supplement
During the winter, a lack of sunlight can deplete our vitamin D levels since the sun helps us synthesize it. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of seasonal depression. Luckily, there’s an easy way to get more of “the sunshine vitamin” without the sun involved at all! Consider adding a daily vitamin D supplement to your routine or check whether your multivitamin includes an adequate amount. Consult with your doctor about whether vitamin D supplements right for you and how much to take, as recommended amounts can vary based on several factors.
Find a space full of light
Just spending time in a bright, welcoming space is a great way to combat the winter blues. Find the room in your home with the most windows and if possible, spend the peak daylight hours there each day so you can get natural sunlight exposure even in the winter. If that isn’t possible, you can bring the light to you! You can use artificial lightboxes for light therapy to relieve SAD. Fill your room with other things that bring you joy, like plants, art, books, and comfy chairs.
Stay active, indoors or out
No matter what season it is, exercise is one of the most reliable ways to increase our happiness and well-being. Although the winter months can limit outdoor activities, you can stay active from the comfort of your home! Even just 10 minutes a day is helpful, although 30 minutes is an excellent target to strive for if possible. Explore indoor exercises for seniors like indoor cycling, walking on a treadmill, doing yoga, and strength training.
Enjoy colorful, mood-boosting foods
Eating a wide variety of nourishing and delicious foods is another great way to combat the winter blues and stay healthy and happy. Since you’re likely spending more time inside this time of year anyway, why not use that time to experiment with some new recipes? Follow guidelines to healthy eating like limiting processed foods, eating the rainbow, and indulging in sweets or snack foods in moderation. Homemade soup recipes are a great way to enjoy a warming and nutritious bowl of vegetables, beans, herbs, and other healthy ingredients.
Connect with friends and family
Spending a lot of time at home can increase feelings of isolation, especially during the winter months. Make it a priority to connect with the people who are important to you regularly. Even if they’re physically far away, a video call or CapTel captioned telephone can bring their voices and laughter right back into your life. If you’re missing the grandkids, schedule a virtual activity day with them!
Read more of the CapTel blog for your favorite content on health and wellness, seasonal fun, living with hearing loss, senior lifestyles, and beyond.