| Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

5 Tips to Help Beat the Winter Blues

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

winter bluesFeeling down and less energetic now that old man winter has set in? You could have a case of the winter blues. Shorter days and lack of sunlight can zap the energy out of anybody.

There are a few things you can do that may help make you feel better.

  • Get outside and into the sunlight whenever possible. The sun’s cheerful rays may help improve your mood. The sun also supplies your body with vitamin D, which you need for good health and hearty energy levels.
  • If you need to limit your sun exposure, spending time in brightly lit areas, like malls or libraries, may also help boost your mood.
  • Get plenty of physical activity, especially aerobic exercise. For most people, physical activity like running or biking releases “feel good” chemicals. Some people even say these “feel good” chemicals have the same effect as taking antidepressants. If you can’t exercise outside, look into getting a gym membership. Walking the shopping mall is another option. And it’s free. Most malls have designated times for mall walkers. Usually in the mornings before the stores open.
  • Get and stay socially active. Spending time with family and friends and doing things you enjoy is fun. Plus, it takes the focus off yourself and directs your attention to other people and interests. If you don’t have many people in your social circle, joining a volunteer group is a great place to start. After all, volunteering is as good for you as it is for those you are helping. Taking classes or joining a senior center are other options for staying socially active. Many senior centers have a full social calendar that includes everything from onsite activities that last a few hours to weekend getaways. Many senior centers are sponsored by local communities.
  • Focus on the future. Start planning for springtime and for when spending time outdoors will be easier. If you’re a gardener, start researching the seed catalogs. If you’re a traveler, plan a springtime road trip. Planning outdoor activities with family and friends can also be fun. Sometimes the planning can be as fun as the actual event because it gives you something to look forward to.

Watch this video to learn more about beating the winter blues.

If the winter blues aren’t going away, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or depression. Medicare will usually cover mental health care and the prescription drugs you may need to treat your condition. Your specific benefits will depend on the type of Medicare coverage you have.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

Seasonal Affective Disorder in Older Adults: MedicareMadeClear.com

Seasonal Affective Disorder: AARP.org

13 Cheap Ways to Beat the Winter Blues: AARP.org

 

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