The One Word Project has slowly but surely been replacing New Year’s resolutions since its mainstream introduction in 2008, in part because it provides a focus on something positive, rather than on identifying (and trying to “fix” a problem).
EMOTIONAL HEALTH is a great place to begin, especially since we’re just coming off the excitement and activity of the holidays, and the weather is (finally) getting more winter-like.
While everyone needs to take steps to safeguard their emotional health, active adults often find the season compounds emotional struggles that accompany retirement, relocating, and other changes.
Experts at RealSimple.com suggest the following to help ward off seasonal depression:
Shorter days tend to throw off our body “clock,” leaving us feeling lethargic, which can lead to depression. Fluorescent lights do little to combat the problem. Natural light, which boosts our body’s production of Vitamin D, is necessary to feel exhilarated and energetic.
Upon waking, open blinds or curtains to allow natural light to fill the room.
Open blinds and curtains in every room, flooding interior spaces with sunlight.
Get outside whenever possible. (Experts recommend at least 35 minutes per day).
Invest in a natural light simulator (often called “light box”), especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Even though the temptation is there to curl up under a blanket and binge-watch the latest Netflix series, moving your body does wonders to help improve emotional health – with a side benefit of boosting physical health, as well!
Aim for a minimum of 35 minutes of walking, 5 days per week (or one hour, three times per week).
Walk/exercise outdoors for maximum benefit.
Exercising in bright light improves mood and vitality, increasing the benefit of your workout.
Farmer’s markets aren’t exactly bursting with seasonal offerings in January. In fact, most have gone into hibernation until spring. But carbohydrate-laden meals actually make lethargy and depression worse. Seasonal fruits and vegetables include:
Bananas, clementines, tangerines, grapefruits (pretty much any citrus fruit), cranberries, grapes, kiwi.
Avocado, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash, kale, artichokes, lettuce.
While chocolate isn’t a fruit or vegetable, in moderation it has been shown to improve mood and relieve anxiety. (Yes. That’s right. We just gave you an excuse to eat chocolate!)
PLAN A VACATION
Just planning a getaway boosts mood and helps stimulate feelings of excitement. (Actually going on a trip is the icing on the cake!)
Not only does helping others provide a service to someone in need, it boosts your mood by providing a sense of purpose and an excuse to socialize.
At Windsong, our homes and communities make some of these mood-boosting opportunities pretty easy to follow through. An abundance of windows in every home provides ample natural light; wide sidewalks and a community clubhouse offer opportunities to get outside and walk – alone, or with a friend/neighbor; thoughtfully designed kitchens provide the perfect space to prepare fresh fruit and vegetable dishes (don’t forget the chocolate!); maintenance-friendly homes offer peace of mind when you travel; and each community is located near libraries, healthcare centers, theatres, and more, where opportunities to volunteer abound!
Welcome to Windsong, Where Life’s A Breeze!