We’ve just passed the winter solstice and nights are very long while winter days are very, very short. Cabin fever is a real malady, even in Texas. If you’re feeling a bit blah and closed in during these cold winter days, here’s a few tips to beat winter blues for you or your aging parent.
1. Eat healthy.
Fresh fruit and vegetable dishes may not be as tempting during the winter. It’s important to keep up with supplements, including plenty of Vitamin D. Also, don’t forget to remind Mom or Dad to drink plenty of fluids, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
2. Stay active.
It’s time to fight the urge to hibernate. Encourage light exercise, which releases endorphins, nature’s mood enhancers.
3. Fight isolation.
In Texas, most of us don’t have to contend with much ice and snow. However, it’s easy to become isolated by canceling social activities. Book plenty of lunch dates, afternoon walks and other outings with friends and family so that you and your loved one stay connected.
4. Practice aromatherapy.
A few key essential oils, such as lavender or lemon, can help freshen stale indoor air while enhancing moods. Consult with an aroma therapist about the best diffusion method for your loved one. And, with any supplement, consult a physician.
5. Laugh till it feels good.
Laughter is the best medicine and actively laughing can chase away the winter doldrums. Check out old TV comedies from Dad’s favorite era or play a comedy album that brings back happy memories.
6. Light therapy.
Seasonal affective disorder, SAD, is a very real concern for many people during the shorter days of winter. Consult with Mom’s physician about the benefits of light therapy.
7. Treat yourself.
Plan a special treat for yourself and your loved one. Schedule an in-home dual massage or attend an art or craft class if you are able to get away from home. If not, order a special home-delivered meal and make the evening special with music and candles. If setting aside time for a special treat is too time-consuming for your care giving situation, treat yourself with a small piece of decadent chocolate or other special reward.
8. Seek professional help.
Depression is a very real problem and if you or your loved one experience warning signs such as feelings of hopelessness, drastic changes in eating habits or diet, lack of concentration, fatigue, irritability or restlessness, please consult your physician or seek emergency help.
Beating the winter blues takes a strategy, but a little bit of planning can help you and your aging parent until sunnier days arrive!
- Could early winter weather be giving you the blues? (nebraskaradionetwork.com)
- 7 Natural Tips for Getting Over Depression (readynutrition.com)