Cold, icy weather, along with longer nights and shorter days, can depress just about anyone. But for many seniors in assisted living homes, seasonal depression might make their mood plummet. However, seasonal depression can be overcome!
In today’s post, Maranatha Village gives some great tips on how to help elderly residents beat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and stay positive, hopeful and inspired during the winter blues.
Get Moving, Get Active
Exercise releases endorphins, the “happy chemical” for the brain that lifts moods. Regular movement and bodily activity are important regardless of one’s age. But as people get older, it becomes more difficult.
It can be hard to find good exercise routines for residents who have limited mobility. But it’s still doable.
One of our trained faculty members at Maranatha Village can aid you in creating a personalized exercise routine that takes into account any bodily limitations you may have. Small lifestyle changes also aid in promoting regular activity.
Be sure to eliminate sugary foods, sweets or sodas from your diet. Instead, eat a diet with more lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. You’ll have more energy for exercise and a better mood.
Eat Healthy Food Options
Cut out excessive sugary foods and sweets. Instead, start eating a more balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Your body and mind will thank you. Eliminate or limit how much alcohol you drink — which is a depressant, mind you — down to just one or two glasses a week.
Get More Sunlight
Open the blinds and let more sunlight in through the window. Winter is a time for less sunlight, and thus a vitamin D deficiency. This impairs positive emotion. Taking a supplement may also help, but spending more time in sunlight is a good substitute.
Seek Professional Help
Knowing the signs of seasonal depression is half the battle. Talking to a doctor about how you feel helps you win it.
They can recommend lifestyle changes, medications or therapy to help overcome feelings of depression. Sometimes just speaking with somebody who will listen is just what you need.
Socialize and Connect
Spend more time with family and friends. If that’s not an option, get involved in community activities at Maranatha Village. Humans are social creatures that need connection with others. Feelings of isolation contribute to seasonal depression.
Knowing that fact, we seek to give our residents an active, engaging lifestyle and a strong sense of community by offering plenty of activities and events for seniors.
Reminisce Over Family Memories
Get out the scrapbook and family photo album or videos. Reminisce with someone over fond memories of family or friends. This will help to spark hopeful, happy thoughts and emotions.
Volunteer or Serve Others
Even in assisted living situations, there are plenty of ways to be of service to other people. You can knit, help with cleaning, collaborate on small creative projects or spend time actively listening to someone. Helping other people and practicing gratitude helps lift the spirit.
Make Maranatha Village Your New Home
We love making sure our residents feel happy, comfortable and fulfilled all year long. For more information about our assisted and independent living services, or our rehabilitation services, contact us today. Call 417-833-0016 or email us.