Tag Archives: prevention

Fighting the Winter Blues

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As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, it’s common to feel the winter blues.  In fact, nearly one in four adults experience different degrees of depression in the winter due to the lack of sunshine and limited activities. However, for the majority of us, there are several tactics we can do to help stay upbeat and positive this winter.

Additional Quality Time

If you’re starting to feel a little down this winter, spend additional quality time with friends and loved ones. Most people tend to isolate from others when their mood goes south, so it’s important to reach out to friends and family members for group support.  It can be as easy as spending time with them listening to music, playing cards, or even flipping through old photo albums.  A little additional time spent with others can go a long way to improve a person’s well-being.  If you don’t live within driving distance to your family members, consider setting up a video call.  A face-to-face video chat can help communicate with loved ones and improve your mood through uplifting conversations.

Daily Diet

Since we receive most of our vitamin D from the sun, choosing a daily diet rich in vitamins can go a long way in fighting the winter blues.  Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, eggs, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines and fortified cereals.  Winter is also a great time to test out mood boosting soups and stews.  Key ingredients may include squash as it is a good source of magnesium and potassium, as well as eggplant, which is full of fiber, copper, vitamin B1 and manganese. Sweet potatoes is also a hearty winter food packed with vitamin b6, biotin, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Here’s a list of recipes for delicious dinners that include these key mood boosting ingredients.

Light Lamp

Researchers believe that sitting in front of a fluorescent light lamp, which mimics outdoor light, can cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Results show that this technique can start to improve depression symptoms within just a few days. Seniors should sit in front of the light for about 20 to 30 minutes within the first hour of waking up in the morning. They’re designed to be safe and effective and with prices starting at $39.00, light lamps are affordable.

While the winter months can be difficult at any age, all it takes is a little patience and some small adjustments in your daily routine to help beat the winter blues.  It’s important to remember that winter doesn’t last forever. Try to envision the spring and sunshine at the end of the blustery tunnel.

Nurses’ Corner

The holiday season is upon us!! We here at The Arthur Home hope everyone has had and continues to have a safe and happy holiday season!! Our facility is looking very festive and the residents are really enjoying the decorations and the carolers!

With all of the excitement of the holidays, times can also be very stressful. Stress comes in many forms, and can have a negative effect on health if it continues too long or feels overwhelming (USDVA, 2015). Many tools are available to help you manage and reduce your stress. Here are some basic stress management suggestions you can use to help reduce stress this holiday season (USDVA, 2015):

  • Physical Activity – Take a brisk walk or engage in other physically demanding activities. This may reduce your stress. Regular physical activity is best.
  • Relaxation Training – Learn relaxation and mindfulness skills. these skills can assist you to manage the arousal that is associated with stress, and daily relaxation may protect you from at least some of the consequences of stress.
  • Expression – Speak up in respectful ways. Sharing thoughts and feelings in an assertive and respectful manner can sometimes help buffer stress. Keeping those thoughts inside can increase your stress.
  • Time Management – List what needs to get done, make plans for addressing issues, and stick to the plan. there are several self-help books on time management at libraries and book stores.
  • Positive Thinking – Stress is often associated with negative, self-critical thinking. Focus your attention on positive thoughts about yourself, favorite songs, poems, favorite prayers, or hobbies.
  • Pleasant Activities – you may be experiencing the effects of stress if you are not making time for fun in your life. Plan to have regular, enjoyable activities and see if this buffers your stress.

Again, we wish everyone a very blessed Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

Jessica and Alicia

5 Ways to Avoid Catching a Cold this Winter 

If you feel constantly surrounded by a chorus of coughs and sneezes – at work, at the grocery store, or even at home – you’re not alone.

Here are five things you can do to avoid catching a cold.

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1. Wash your hands. 
Do so often, especially after using the bathroom or touching inanimate objects, like bathroom faucets and door handles, in public places. Also, try to stop touching your face. It sounds silly, but the average American touches their eyes, nose, mouth, or face every 20 seconds, according to Gregory Poland, MD, director of the Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., allowing germs easily access into the body.

2. Go to bed early.
You need plenty of sleep to keep your immune system in tip-top shape this time of year.

3. Eat healthy food with plenty of vitamins.
This will also keep your immune system going strong. Cold and flu season runs in tandem with candy season – from Halloween to Easter. So make an effort to fill your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner, and snack on fruit  throughout the day.

4. Exercise.
We know it’s no longer swimsuit season, but do your best to stay moving during the cooler months. Regular exercise is another immune-system booster, which can prevent cold bugs you do catch from making you sick.

5. Try zinc lozenges.
If you feel a cold coming on despite your best efforts to stave off germs, research has shown that zinc lozenges might shorten cold duration. “They bind to the viral particles and help prevent some of the replication,” says Michael Benninger, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic. “It won’t prevent you from getting a cold, but it may make your cold less sever and last not quite as long.”