Tuesday, January 8, 2019

How to avoid the winter blues

Ever have the winter blahs? The weather is cold and the days are darker – conditions like this drive us indoors. And, let’s face it, the holiday season can be overwhelming and as we enter January, this can also be a time where people reach an emotional low. Winter causes a mild case of the blues in about 25% of the people in the United States. If you are feeling down in January, you are not alone. Many people feel their mood shrinking this time of year – for lots of different reasons. Some suggestions to avoid the winter blues include: Eating healthy and exercise – make sure you get a variety of fruits and vegetables, eat healthy portions, and exercise. Physical and psychological wellbeing are connected. When your body feels good, so does your mind. Physical exercise releases the “happy hormones”. Sunshine and Vitamin D: new research shows that sufficient amounts of vitamin D reduce the chances of developing depression. Our bodies need sunlight to generate vitamin D. Take a walk and spend some time in the sun – take advantage of every sunny day. Laugh – this sounds simple and it is. Laughter is good for you. Watch a funny movie, be with people who make you laugh, and find the humor in things. Gratitude - Genuinely try to feel grateful – it can bring more meaning and purpose to your life. Looking at the bright side of life and feeling appreciation for the little things in life are great ways to feel better. Remember to say “thank you” for all the little things in your life today. Smile - Research shows that if we force ourselves to smile, after a while we do start feeling better. And, it will work both ways. Smiling at somebody may just brighten their day – and receiving a smile may brighten your day. So – smile today! Wear bright colors – you’ll be surprised how it can lift your mood. Music – listening to upbeat music can be uplifting as well. Socialization –The benefits of being with other people are well documented and I often write about why socialization is so important. Those that interact with others tend to be healthier, both physically and mentally, than those who become socially isolated. Happiness is getting out and being with people, and that's why I recommend it. The Dale Association is a great place to start; if you are reading this, please make The Dale a part of your 2019. We understand the importance of overall health and well being to the strength of our community. Activity is beneficial for health of people of all ages, including the older population. It can increase longevity, lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, helps to maintain individual living and enhances the overall quality of life. The Dale Association is a unique non profit organization which has been responding to needs of adults in our Niagara community for 67 years. It has been said many times that our services help make lives better and we are proud to be able to do this for people with so many different needs. The Dale Association’s mission is to provide comprehensive services and coordinate connections for adults in Niagara and neighboring counties which enhance their health and wellness and empower them to build bridges into their communities. This important mission is the focal point of each program – including our Senior Services, Mental Health Services, Enrichment Activities, and Caregiver Support Services. Our Senior Services offer activities that enhance health, encourages community involvement, utilizes years of experience and allows for the development of friendships, as well as a sole local resource for the visually and hearing impaired. Memory Minders a social program for individuals with mild memory loss is also among The Dale Association’s community support services helping to improve the quality of life for adults. Our Mental Health Services have the clearly stated goal of assisting people to remain emotionally stable and living independently in the community. The Enrichment Activities are geared to developing and enhancing skills with the objective of adding to the quality of life. The goal of Caregiver Support Services is to help informal caregivers’ ability to manage and coordinate care. For more information about The Dale Association or its programs, please visit www.daleassociation.com or our blog at http://www.ExceptionalYouAtTheDale.blogspot.

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