As the winter months roll around, it’s not uncommon to start feeling a little sad or down. Many people experience the winter blues, often beginning during the dreary days of fall and lasting throughout the winter season. At The Reserve of Geneva, our community is designed for active, older adults to thrive all year round, even when the weather outside is gloomy.
What are the winter blues?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly known as the “winter blues,” occurs most commonly in winter as days get shorter and people spend less time outdoors due to low temperatures. This reduces exposure to sunlight, causing serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain to drop. As a result, an individual experiencing the winter blues may notice significant changes in mood and sleeping habits. Sometimes loneliness also plays a role in seasonal sadness, as retired adults may feel more isolated around the holidays and colder months. Other signs of seasonal affective disorder include:
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
- Experiencing changes in appetite or weight.
- Feeling sluggish or agitated.
- Having low energy.
- Having difficulty concentrating.
Whether it’s due to the lack of sunlight, the cold temperatures or the holidays coming to an end, seasonal sadness is common this time of year. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can integrate into your daily routine that will give you the boost you need to get through the cold winter season.
Move your body.
Physical activity is a powerful way to enhance mood, decrease depression and increase energy levels. At The Reserve, residents have convenient access to our fully equipped fitness center and group exercise classes, including gentle yoga. Everything you need to create a healthy workout routine is right outside your door.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors, however. Bundle up and take a stroll with friends on one of Geneva’s beautiful walking trails. Or walk around downtown Geneva and explore a wide range of shops, fine restaurants and a sea of independent boutiques.
If you want to boost your mood and energy levels, eating a well-balanced diet is an effective way to do it. Fill your plate with the right combination of proteins, carbohydrates, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Avoid the temptation to indulge in unhealthy snacks and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
At The Reserve, our onsite culinary expert works hard to create healthy and delicious meals every day, tailored to our residents’ dietary needs and preferences.
Prioritize social activities.
One of the best ways to combat feelings of loneliness or isolation is to make an effort to connect with people around you. There are several ways to engage, including through volunteering at a local charity or simply meeting up with friend or family member for coffee. If you live in an active adult community, like The Reserve, you have the advantage of having social events and activities built into your daily life.
Residents at The Reserve find social opportunities in a variety of ways. Whether it’s hosting a party in their spacious apartment home, inviting the grandkids over for ice cream or playing a game of cards with neighbors in our updated common area, there’s always something to do and someone to enjoy it with in our vibrant community.
Learn a new skill.
If it’s cold outside, why not pick up a new hobby indoors? Try your hand at wood working, arts and crafts or learn a new language. At The Reserve, residents can pursue old hobbies and learn new skills. From ukulele lessons and flower arranging workshops to group fitness classes and educational programs, there’s something for everyone at The Reserve! Pursuing a new hobby in the wintertime will help you fight boredom, keep your mind active, boost your confidence and improve cognitive function!
Winter is coming, but this time of year doesn’t have to be something you dread. There are many ways to avoid the effects of the darker months on your mental and physical health. At The Reserve, we work hard to create an active, vibrant environment so that our residents can look forward to colder months and view wintertime as an opportunity to pursue new aspects of life!