The post-holiday winter months can bring more than just cold temperatures. It is quite common, especially for seniors, to experience varying degrees of depression due to lack of sunshine and limited activities available in the colder weather. This is often described as the winter blues.
Maybe you’ve noticed that dad doesn’t seem interested in doing much lately other than sleeping. Or possibly your grandmother is isolated due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and you are worried about her mental health.
Perhaps you are a senior and have noticed signs of depression and isolation in yourself.
Overcoming seasonal depression does not have to be difficult. Everyone is affected differently, so what works for one person might not work as well for another. There are a few suggestions to consider when fighting off the winter blues:
1. Enjoy the sunlight as much as possible.
Natural light is known to have a positive impact on your overall mood. Weather permitting, spend some time outdoors when possible. Many Jaybird Senior Living communities boast beautiful private courtyards with landscaped grounds and seating. Even when the grounds are covered in a foot (or two) of snow, spending a few moments outdoors can give your mental and physical health a great boost.
Some Jaybird Senior Living communities also offer scenic drives. These drives get seniors out of their apartments and send them on a weekly adventure to enjoy some local sightseeing. This is a favorite activity for many of our residents who are no longer driving and enjoy still being able to go out and about.
2. Watch what you eat.
We know diet plays a large role in our physical and mental health. But did you know sweets and processed food can increase depression symptoms? Making health-conscious decisions about what you eat becomes even more important as we age. This can often be difficult for seniors with limited access to healthy snacks and meal options.
Jaybird senior living communities offer three delicious and nutritious meals daily served restaurant-style in our dining rooms. In addition, a salad bar is available during meals and includes a variety of fresh vegetables for residents’ choosing. Communities can also accommodate certain diet restrictions. Our commitment to innovative, health-conscious recipes ensures our residents have the energy to live their life to the fullest.
3. Exercise & move your body during the day.
Getting some form of exercise each day is not only beneficial for your physical health but can also greatly improve your mood. Jaybird Senior Living communities make exercise easy and fun! We partner with private senior fitness companies to bring residents fitness classes and training designed for seniors of all shapes and abilities. In addition to lifting spirits, these classes help improve balance, increase independence, and reduce falls.
4. Spend more time connecting with others.
One of the easiest ways to relieve symptoms of depression can be to spend quality time with people that make you happy. Spending time with others reduces the potential for social isolation and the resulting symptoms of depression, cognitive decline, and disease. Opportunities to socialize can be difficult to find for seniors that live alone with no family close by, especially during the pandemic.
Our communities make it easy for residents to socialize with each other to build meaningful connections and lasting friendships. Each community features spacious common areas where people can gather as well as engaging activities to enjoy, including Bingo, card games, entertainment, crafts, parties, and more.
If you are a senior fortunate enough to have a furry friend keeping you company at home – you might be able to bring your pet with you to one of our communities. In addition to warm feelings of love and companionship, research suggests that pets help reduce stress, anxiety, and even blood pressure. Most of our communities are pet-friendly to accommodate our residents and their furry companions.
5. Get involved in your community.
Giving back to your greater community can be exceptionally rewarding. The sense of purpose and self-worth can ward off symptoms of depression and even benefit your physical health.
From quilt clubs that produce beautiful creations for Quilts of Valor, to baking clubs that host bake sales benefiting local charities or larger organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association. At Jaybird Senior Living communities, we encourage residents to be as involved in the greater community as possible. We have residents that have volunteered to be pen-pals with less fortunate children in local schools and that have led efforts to collect needed items for local food pantries.
At Jaybird Senior Living, you or your loved one never have to go through the winter blues alone. The adventures that await in our communities ensure you have ample opportunities to improve your mental and physical wellbeing, socialize and build meaningful connections with other, and become the best version of yourself.
Take a look at the list of Our Communities to find a Jaybird Senior Living community near you.