Fighting the winter blues
THANK goodness, we don't suffer severe winters in Australia, but getting through the next three months can be tough for some seniors.
The early morning and afternoon darkness can be depressing and affect the wellbeing so it is wise to take some simple steps to avoid sinking into depression.
Keep things light by opening curtains and blinds and having shrubs and branches near windows well pruned. Just by enjoying more light in the home, the mood can be lifted.Getting up in the darkness for months can lead to depression in some seniors.Investing in a device that slowly allows the bedroom lights to brighten might be worth looking at.
While walking has been proven to help lift the mood and relieve stress, preliminary studies have shown that walking under bright lights (a walking machine in a brightly lit room) can improve social function and vitality.
While comfort food will temporarily lift the mood, and who doesn't love rich stews, slow braises and syrupy puddings? - try to eat well.Warm winter salads will bring some sunshine to the table. And watch portion control so you are not bogged down by a heavy stomach after a meal.
Viewing ageing as a positive rather than a negative and avoiding saying such as 'my old bones hate the cold' will help.Thinking positive and enjoying the wisdom age has brought you will also steer you more contentedly through the cold months.
One of the most important pitfalls to avoid in winter is tucking up inside the house and avoiding going out.Keeping up social activities is essential. Just because it's cold outside it is no excuse for letting friendships go, or missing out on your regular social activities.
If you find you are suffering severe depression brought on by winter cold and darkness, seek help. Talking through your problems and sharing anxiety will automatically assist.
Your GP is the first step.