How Seniors Can Beat The Winter Blues!
Did you know that up to 20 per cent of Canadian seniors experience some form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Sometimes called the winter blues, SAD is a recognized form of depression that’s thought to be related to the shorter days and lack of sunlight during the winter months. Here’s how to know if you have seasonal affective disorder and what you can do to combat the symptoms.
Signs to look out for
Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are similar to those of depression but typically occur during specific times of the year, usually the winter. Here are a few to watch out for:
- Lack of energy
- Cravings for carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Increased irritability
- Loss of interest in normal activities
What to do if you think you have SAD
The following can help if you think you’re feeling the effects of seasonal affective disorder:
- Get some sun. Keep your blinds open to let as much sun into your home as possible. Morning sun is more effective at decreasing SAD symptoms than evening light. Furthermore, if you can, try to spend some time outdoors every day. Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll still benefit from the sun’s rays.
- Try light therapy. If you can’t get enough natural sunlight, try sitting near a light therapy box for 30 to 60 minutes every morning. This box mimics the bright light of the sun and is often effective for treating symptoms of SAD. Having the light box shining while you go about your regular day can make a huge difference.
- People tend to exercise less in the winter, but getting your body moving can put you in a better mood by increasing your levels of serotonin and endorphins. Retirement Concepts senior living homes offer a wide variety of exercise classes for people with all levels of mobility.
- Do something. Joining a club or volunteering can give you a boost during the deep winter months. These options are particularly helpful for people who struggle with feelings of loneliness as you’re sure to meet new people with similar interests.
- Eat well. A well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients is important year-round, but especially during the winter. Some experts believe that vitamin-deficiency may be related to SAD.
Retirement homes in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec
Living among other people is a great way to stay social during your golden years. Visit a Retirement Concepts senior living location to find out why we’re so nice to come home to. Call today to arrange a tour of the facility nearest to you.