Living in these unprecedented times have highlighted that now more than ever before, the need to take care of our mental health. With the winter season in full swing, many of us are also at risk of suffering from the “winter blues”.
What are the Winter Blues?
Nearly 2 million Brits experience the “winter blues” otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a type of depression caused by the lack of sunlight.
With many of us not even realising we have suffered from the winter blues, some key symptoms include feelings of irritability, trouble in concentrating, unsociable, overeating and sleeping problems.
If you feel you are or know anyone feeling blue at the moment, here are our top 5 tips to help beat the winter blues.
1. Spending time and connecting with others
Socialising is a widely known remedy to help protect and prevent people from all forms of stress and depression. Whether that be spending time with your support bubble or even via a telephone call, spending time and connecting others is one of the main ways to beat the blues all year round.
While visits from friends and family are temporarily halted, we are still enjoying our weekly video calls with our loved ones, which definitely lift the spirits of everyone at Portland Nursing Home.
2. Getting up and about
Don’t let the winter stop you from getting up and about. While restrictions are ensuring that we stay local, now is the best time to explore your local parks and areas you would have otherwise never discovered.
Research has proven those who are aged between 60-80 should be exercising up to 2.5 hours every week, averaging to about 30 minutes per day. Here at Portland, we promote a healthy and active lifestyle, where many of our residents participate in exercise activities to help our residents get up and about helping beat those winter blues.
3. Try and get as much natural light as possible
One of the biggest contributors to the winter blues is caused by the lack of sunlight. As long as the sun is out and weather permits, we encourage to dedicate spending as much time outdoors. Not only will you be getting up and about, but the natural light will also automatically begin lifting your mood.
Here at Portland Nursing Home, the mental health and wellbeing our residents has always remained our top priority. Our carers spend time with every resident each day to talk about how they’re feeling and monitor their wellness, regularly encouraging residents to embrace the outside, by visiting our gardens.
4. Learn a new hobby
The winter months are the best time to learn a new hobby or skill. Research has demonstrated those who have or learning a new hobby rarely suffer from mental health and can “reduce the risk of developing depression by around 30%”.
At Portland Nursing Home some of the most popular hobbies amongst our residents include reading, drawing, painting and playing games.
5. Seek professional advice
If your you are or know anyone who has tried all the above and is still struggling to cope with the winter blues, there are many helplines out there to support and overcome these feelings.
For mental health and general advice, call Age UK: 0800 678 1602
For loneliness and general advice, call Independent Age: 0800 319 6789
For mental health support, call the Samaritans: 116 123
For befriending and mental health advice, call The Silver Line: 0800 470 80 90
For grief and bereavement advice, call Cruse: 0808 808 1677
Situated in Buxton, Portland Nursing Home provides specialist nursing care for a range of needs, creating a safe and supportive environment in which residents can meet and form close friendships.
If you are interested in finding out more about Portland Nursing Home, our friendly team would be happy to talk to you via 01298 23040 or if you fill out our contact form a member of our team will get in touch.