Winter can be a tough season. December is full of holidays to keep us feeling connected and upbeat, but what about when the holidays are over? January is known as the most depressing month of the year due to the combination of the end of the winter holidays, recovering financially from the holidays, and the increased chance of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Today on the blog we’ll take a look at Seasonal Affective Disorder and ways to feel connected throughout the winter months.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
The Mayo Clinic defines Seasonal Affective Disorder as a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. The lack of sunlight in the winter months can negatively affect your biological clock, circadian rhythms, melatonin levels, or serotonin levels, which can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder. People with a family history of depression or who live with depression themselves are at risk for SAD.
What can I do to improve my mental health in the winter?
- Reach out to family and friends- Can you set up a recurring phone call or Zoom date?
- Try to stick to a routine
- Make time for hobbies and things you enjoy
- Visit your local Parks and Recreation department to see what classes and activities are available
- Volunteer (CSSW offers the Retired Senior Volunteer Program for people age 55+ who want to volunteer in their community!)
- Visit your local senior center (click here for a list of senior centers!)
- Go outside to get some sunshine, even if just for a short time
- Don’t be afraid to talk to a mental health professional if things get tough. CSSW offers counseling, or you can search for counseling using the Online Senior Resource Directory.
- Stuck at Home Guide: How to Get Online (via Senior Planet)
- Mental Health
Visit the Ahead of the Curve Online Senior Resource Directory to find resources in your community.