Finishing Winter Strong
Winter can feel long. As we move into the thick of February, winter feels like it will stretch on forever. Whether you have the winter blues or would just like to see a bit more blue in the sky, there are some simple things you can do to finish winter strong.
Get Some Sunshine
By February, it may feel like the sun rarely shines—especially in northern Indiana, where cloudy days are common. Getting out in the sunshine is the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of the sun’s warmth, light, and Vitamin D. Taking a sunny afternoon walk helps your skin to produce much-needed Vitamin D. Having enough of this important vitamin in your system can boost mood and aid immunity, digestion, bone density, circulation, and the nervous system. If you haven’t already, check with your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
Spend time near a window. Open the curtains and let the light shine in. Enjoy reading a book or a magazine, walking on a treadmill, or simply sitting quietly next to a sunny window. While your skin will not produce Vitamin D from light that enters through a window, you can still enjoy the sun’s warmth and light. Take advantage of the sun when it does shine. It’s a promise that spring is coming.
Socialize and Stay Active
In fact, do both at once! Team up with a friend to go for a walk, attend an exercise class, take a swim, or enjoy aqua aerobics. Exercise will both energize and relax you, whether you’re able to enjoy the outdoors or stay inside. Getting moving has great benefits for health and mood. Enjoy your time even more when you’re with a friend.
If there is someone you would like to get to know, invite them to an activity or a social event. Find activities that interest you on your community’s event calendar and make a plan to attend together. Or simply host a game night in your room or common area. If winter feels long and slow, spending time laughing with people you enjoy will soothe loneliness and take the edge off of long days.
Eat Fresh Food
Many seasonal foods are available year-round. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and greens can remind you of summer and provide vitamins your body needs. Just peeling a juicy orange can transport your senses into sunnier, warmer times. Strawberries, berries, citrus fruits, and fresh salad can deliver the satisfying crunch and flavors we associate with summertime. Or enjoy a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor for a treat.
Taking the time to pause and enjoy warm soups, teas, and winter drinks can also be a comfort in the colder months. Once the summer heat does roll around, we are less apt to want a good creamy chowder, vegetable soup, or hot cup of tea. Enjoy the steam, warmth, and rich flavors of these cold weather treats while the season is here!
Look for Beauty
Finally, look for beauty. While this is true any time of year, spotting beauty in the sparser winter months can really benefit your mood and sense of pleasure. If the weather lets you get out for a walk, allow yourself to notice and enjoy the quiet, familiar sounds of nature. Listen to the birds that stuck around, the squirrels that chatter, the wind as it rustles bushes. Breathe in the fresh air.
If it’s best to stay indoors, gaze out the window at the simple scenery. Contemplate the passing clouds and the bare, reaching branches of trees. Perhaps write about what you see. Or watch the people you live around. Notice what brings them enjoyment, and enjoy the smiles on their faces. The stillness of winter has gifts to give, if you’re looking.
The Cedars Retirement Community
The Cedars Retirement Community offers a full calendar of gathering times, hands-on activities, and fun events. Located just outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Cedars believes in providing the highest quality of life and opportunity for seniors. We want to ensure that your latter years are lived with joy, enthusiasm, and relational connections. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule a tour of our beautiful lakeside retirement community.