Curing the Winter Blues
Gray skies, snow on the ground, late afternoon darkness. It’s enough to make anyone hibernate until springtime. It’s the winter blues. The time known that when the days are shorter and the weather is colder, people spend a lot more time inside, less time socializing and are more cooped up. Here are 10 ways to lift yourself out of the winter blues.
1. Bundle up and go outside
Yes, it is cold outside, but the fresh air will get you going and pump your endorphins – and those hormones will elevate your mood. Still too cold? Consider a quick walk on the treadmill in Cornwall Manor’s Fitness Center (free for residents) or an indoor half-mile or mile walk (there are two different routes available; one is in Gateway/Westwood and the other is available in Laurel Place, the Freeman Community Center, Wellness Center, Bradley Hall and Carriage House). There’s also the indoor therapeutic pool and a variety of wellness classes available.
2. Digital detox
Stress runs higher among people who are always checking their emails, text messages or social media. Find some time that you can detach from your device. Put down your iPad, phone and do something useful. Talk to loved ones or your neighbors, complete a crossword puzzle or word search or read a book.
3. Embrace the sunlight
Take advantage of the hours of daylight. Open your shades. Allow as much sunlight in your house as possible.
4. Be social
Pick up the phone and call someone. Invite a neighbor over to work on a puzzle or make some soup together. Remaining connected avoids isolation. Becoming isolated is easy because no one wants to leave the house during winter time. Take advantage of many of the on campus activities or trips offered by Cornwall Manor or join an interest group.
5. Take on a project
Give yourself a small task such as piecing together a puzzle, clearing out a junk drawer or filling in a coloring book. Try a new hobby like knitting or needlepoint. Starting and finishing can lift your mood. Have you updated your family photos that you received as a Christmas gift? Do you have your papers in order for upcoming tax season? Are there any other New Year’s resolutions that need your attention?
6. Acts of kindness
Volunteer your time at a worthy organization – like Cornwall Manor! With over 100 different volunteer opportunities, there is something for everyone. Volunteering can increase your feelings of happiness and peace.
7. Dance, dance, dance
Put on some oldies music and dance around the room. Gentle movement is better than not moving at all. Consider “Happy Feet” – the line dancing class that meets every Thursday at 2 PM in the Manypenny Recreation Room* (lower level of Zerr Chapel). *Currently held in the Boiler House until Manypenny Recreation Room renovations are complete.
8. Be cozy
Make some hot chocolate, tea or chicken noodle soup. It keeps you warm on the inside. It brings in warm memories. Meet a neighbor or friend in Manor Café to have a cup of tea, coffee or try a new flavored coffee or latte.
9. Be mindful of yourself
Be present in the moment and keep your mind focused. Some people concentrate on breathing. Try yoga or take a painting class. For those who are experiencing seasonal affect disorder, depression or sadness; this can help you tackle some negative thoughts that can come into your mind.
10. Get enough sleep
It’s not about making sure you catch up on the weekends. The average person needs another 60 to 90 minutes of sleep a night more than they’re getting. People need seven or eight hours a night to recharge. Sleep buffers stress and things like feelings of sadness and depression.