How to Enjoy the WinterJanuary 3, 2023
It’s easy to romanticize the cold weather during the holiday season. The frost and snow add an extra layer of magic to the beauty of the holidays— you may even be dreaming of a white Christmas, as the song goes. But when the New Year passes and holiday decorations come down, all that’s left is the cold and dark of the season.
This can lead you to grow resentful of the season—however, this isn’t good for your mental health. Instead of focusing on the worst aspects, you should instead learn how to enjoy the winter. In addition to using hygge to combat SAD, try these tips for enjoying the winter.
Consider your mindset
A handful of years ago, the phrase “happiness is a choice” was slung across social media. While this phrase was a bit controversial due to its perceived dismissal of mental health struggles, it does bring to question how much one’s mindset can make a difference.
Have you ever noticed how a bad situation only worsens as you think more about it? For example—if you’re stuck in traffic, you may idly think about how irritating it is. As you think more and more about it, your mood worsens. This is called “rumination,” and it can be detrimental to your mental health.
If you spend most of your winter thinking about how much you dislike the cold, the dark, and the snow, your negative mood will only deepen. Instead of focusing on all the things you dislike about winter, try to focus on the positives of the season.
Write down what you like about winter
In the interest of focusing on the “good” instead of the “bad,” make a tangible list of everything you enjoy about the winter months. This list will naturally vary from person to person, but a few things you may consider writing down include:
- Spending time indoors reading books or watching your favorite television show
- Watching birds at the bird feeder
- Cozy sweaters
- Warm drinks
Whenever you’re feeling particularly low about the winter, take a look at this list. You might find there is more to look forward to than you realize.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes
In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of getting outside in the winter for your overall mental health. In summary, natural sunlight and fresh air can boost your mood, your memory retention, your immune system, and your vitamin D levels. You may not be able to get out every day, but it’s important you make an effort to do so several times a week.
As you get outside, remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. This is obviously a slight overstatement, as storms can certainly put a damper on your day, but you are certain to enjoy the winter even less if you don’t have the right clothes.
You should assess your winter clothing every year to determine what you need to replace. Layer up in thermal clothing and invest in a good, insulated waterproof coat. Thick socks, hats, gloves, and scarves will make a world of difference in your warmth. If putting on many layers of clothing is a struggle for you, your at-home caregiver can help.
Plan something to look forward to
Instead of ruminating on the cold, focus on the exciting things to come. A winter bucket list can help you stay excited for the coming days and weeks. These activities don’t have to be huge events—so long as you are excited about them, that is what matters. A few great options include:
- See a play or concert. The primary season for theater, dance, and music is winter. Look up upcoming performances and attend whatever calls to you.
- Host a Superbowl party. For sports fans, the Superbowl is something they look forward to all year. Host a Superbowl party with friends and family and enjoy the food, the game, and the company.
- Go dogsledding. Dogsledding is a great activity for seniors, as seniors can opt to sit in the sled instead of standing.
If all else fails, make a plan for the spring months. A countdown of days to an upcoming trip or event gives you something to anticipate.
Enjoy a hobby
During the warmer months, it’s easy for activities like reading, sewing, or baking to fall to the wayside as you enjoy the weather. When a winter storm hits and the temperatures dip below zero, this is the perfect time to enjoy your favorite hobbies.
If you don’t currently have a hobby, this is the best time to pick one up. In the age of the internet, you can start to learn just about any skill online. If you have concerns about operating a computer or mobile device, ask your children or grandchildren for help.
An at-home caregiver can help you this winter
Despite your best attempts to love the winter, the winter months can be especially difficult for seniors. In addition to at-times daunting personal care tasks, you now have to handle navigating through the snowy and icy landscape. This can lead seniors to avoid important tasks like running errands.
If this concern is all too familiar to you, an at-home caregiver can help. At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our staff will proudly assist with any and all of your non-medical activities of daily living. They can drive to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription or create a delicious, warm winter meal. With their compassionate, dignified care, you never have to worry about whether or not your needs will fall to the wayside.
If you’re curious about how an at-home caregiver can help, call us at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to help.
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