When the seasonal funk hits, it can be challenging to maintain social activities or enjoy time outside. You or your loved one can take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady by integrating these tips into your daily routine:
1. Increase lighting. While specific causes of SAD are unknown, factors such as reduced exposure to sunlight could play a role. Open the blinds and curtains, and let the sunlight brighten your home.
2. Stick to a schedule. A structured day can bring balance, helping to reduce stress and instilling a sense of control.
3. Stay active and eat a healthy diet. Exercise and proper nutrition are essential to aging well. Modified workouts and incorporating super foods, like fish, beans, and berries, into your meals will boost mood and energy levels.
4. Get creative. Devoting some time to a creative outlet – painting, crafting, journaling, coloring – can be an excellent distraction from the dismal, chilly weather.
5. Socialize with others. Withdrawing from activities or having fewer people to interact with can increase social isolation. Seniors tend to be most vulnerable, with one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older reported feeling isolated regularly. These feelings can have detrimental effects on wellness.
Senior Living Communities provide an environment that can help keep the winter blues and feelings of isolation at bay in several ways:
1. Maintain Brightness. Senior living communities maximize daylight in common areas and residents’ rooms. Increased lighting and ambiance levels help boost residents’ moods and improve sleep quality.
2. Create a fulfilling day. Consistent mealtimes and a jam-packed calendar of events allow residents to plan their day around activities they enjoy.
3. Prioritize exercise. Most communities strive for residents to meet the recommended Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity. A study released by Geriatric Nursing noted incredible benefits among aging adults with moderate to high physical activity levels, including a 62-69% increased likelihood of improving mobility. To achieve this goal, many locations provide on-site physical therapy services and group exercise classes that meet throughout the day.
4. Wholesome meal options. Senior living communities create well-balanced meal plans using the right foods to give your body proper nutrients without skimping on deliciousness. The dietary team can prepare a special menu for residents with restrictions.
5. Cultivate creativity. There are several activities residents can engage in to explore their artistic abilities, from creative writing to cooking demonstrations and crafting. Creative expression is encouraged in senior settings because it gives residents a sense of purpose, revitalizes their minds, and improves their quality of life.
6. Social Engagement. Places like The Birches of Lehigh Valley intentionally prioritize social wellness. Fun activities, events, and programs are built into residents’ daily experiences, with booming opportunities to meet and get to know their new neighbors.
Senior living communities also provide other essential services that positively impact residents’ well-being, such as medication management and transportation. Check out a few nearby locations to see how these communities can make life-enhancing changes to your retirement lifestyle and inquire about a respite stay, which can subtly introduce the perks of senior living .
For more information on The Birches of Lehigh Valley, the area’s newest senior community offering personal care and memory care, call 484-373-4072 or email JBerry@thebirchesoflehighvalley.com.