Wintertime can be rough. The days get darker and colder, so you spend much more time indoors than you’d like. Sometimes the weather outside is so harsh, you’re forced to abandon your weekly routine. You can’t go out to run errands. You can’t socialize. You can’t even go for a walk around the neighbourhood.

It’s no wonder why so many seniors develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter. The season can feel lonely and grim. And with the addition of social distancing measures this year, those feelings will likely be more intense.

So, what can you do this winter? Here are three activities that can make you feel happier and calmer throughout the season.

1. Pet Therapy:

What is pet therapy? It’s the guided interaction between a person and a trained animal — usually a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig.

The purpose of the interaction is often to get the person to achieve a greater level of calm. You can see it being used by plane passengers with fears of flying, patients about to undergo serious surgical procedures, and people who are feeling lonely and depressed.

There’s a reason why some senior living communities host pet therapy sessions during the winter. It’s a quick and easy way to cheer members up during a dreary time of year. Click the link to see how pet therapy offers several benefits for the seniors at this specific elderly care home. If you’re looking into elderly housing, this could be a good fit for you.

2. Meditation:

Another activity that can help you combat the winter blues is meditation. Meditating can decrease your stress levels, improve your focus and reduce your symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can even lessen feelings of physical pain.

The great thing about meditation is that you can easily do it anywhere and at any time. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, you can download one of the best meditation apps on your phone and follow the guided sessions. 

3. Journaling:

Another activity that you could pick up this winter is journaling. Writing in a journal is often a method of cognitive behavioural therapy that can help people deal with emotional issues and develop healthy coping skills. Therapists often recommend that patients combat a negative mindset by writing about positive subjects, like things that make them feel grateful or happy.

These are some other benefits that come with journaling:

·         It can lower stress levels

·         It can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression

·         It can help you self-reflect and solve personal problems

·         It can improve your memory

How do you start? After getting yourself a fresh journal or lined notebook, you should think about what type of journaling you want to do. You could treat it like the diary you used to have in middle school and use it to confess private thoughts and problems. You could have a creative journal where you write down imaginative ideas. You could make a bullet journal and put your focus into the intricate design and layout. Pick the option that feels right for you.

You don’t need to panic about getting stuck with the winter blues this year. Picking up these small activities will make the cold, dark season feel a lot brighter.