Do you ever find yourself dreading the long cold winter months? Or find yourself extremely gloomy and tired during those periods? If so, then you could have been experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A large majority of people who experience SAD are seniors. Here is how you can find out if your loved one is experiencing symptoms of SAD, and what you can do to help them overcome winter blues.
What exactly is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as SAD, is a type of depression. Due to the shorter days and decreased exposure to light from the sun during the wintery months, this can lead to a vitamin D deficiency causing what we observe as symptoms of SAD.
How to Tell if Your Loved One Is Suffering from Winter Blues
Depression and SAD have similar symptoms, however, the former occurs year-round while the latter occurs during colder months of the year. Some signs that your loved one is suffering from SAD include a decrease in energy levels, weight gain or weight loss, unwillingness to get out of bed in the morning, and heightened irritability. This may also be coupled with decreased interest in their hobbies and signs of anxiousness.
How to Handle SAD
If you notice the above symptoms of SAD in your loved one, here are some steps you can take to help them:
- Get more sunlight. As mentioned earlier, SAD is caused by a lack of vitamin D. Thankfully, this is easy to remedy. Simply be sure to draw your curtains to let in as much sunlight into your loved one’s living area. Additionally, going on strolls outdoors when the sun is out can also be beneficial.
- If your home has little to no sunlight, and your loved ones are unable to leave the house for whatever reason, you can consider investing in a light therapy box. This simple device radiates light similar to that of the sun and is effective in combatting symptoms of SAD. A mere half an hour to an hour sitting next to the box daily should suffice.
- Symptoms of SAD are often worsened by feelings of loneliness and isolation. Thus, you can encourage your loved ones to meet others who have shared interests, such as joining a reading group or a gardening club. Not only does this increase social interaction, but it also keeps them occupied during the day and helps them feel independent.
- Lastly, ensure that your loved one is eating well. A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial especially during the cold wintery months. This will provide them with sufficient vitamin D and other key nutrients that will boost their immune system and energy levels.
People tend to exercise less in the winter, but getting your body moving can put you in a better mood by increasing your levels of serotonin and endorphins. Retirement Concepts senior living homes offer a wide variety of exercise classes for people with all levels of mobility.
Providing A Bright And Uplifting Environment – Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley
Here at Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley, we offer a variety of services for individuals who experience the winter blues. We frequently organize community events where your loved ones can engage with others and socialize. On top of that, we at Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley know the needs of your loved ones and actively strive to cater to them to the very best of our abilities.