Did you know that just about anyone can suffer from seasonal depression, including residents of the best assisted living in Michigan? Seasonal depression, or as it’s clinically called, Seasonal Affective Disorder, impacts about 20% of Americans each year. Sometimes dubbed the ‘winter blues’, SAD is when someone gets feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, or overall has a low mood. This typically happens in the winter months, ranging from November to about March. The time change and an early sunset also can be a factor. 

Now that you have a little background information regarding SAD, your next question is probably, ‘how do you combat it?’. Fighting off the gloomy gray might look different for every person, but today, we’ve compiled a few tips that might help you. Continue reading to learn more about how you can fight through Seasonal Affective Disorder this winter.


1.) Eat a healthy diet.

One of the most effective ways to manage your mood is to make sure that you are eating a healthy diet. For seniors, this is especially important. Load up your plate with lots of fruits and veggies that are nutrient dense and rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D can also be an excellent way to bolster your immune system as well as your mood! When you eat a healthy diet, you are sure to feel your best. Of course, if the occasional cookie or slice of pie brings a smile to your face, well, then that’s just fine, too! Just remember that foods such as sweets and carbs are best enjoyed in moderation.


2.) Start an exercise routine.

When you work out, you release two very important chemicals in the brain: dopamine and endorphins. These two chemicals play a huge role in keeping your mood up as well as providing you with a much needed boost of energy. You don’t have to train for a triathlon in order to receive these benefits, however! Even simply walking 20-30 minutes each day or doing stretches and yoga can go a very long way. 

Here at Oakleigh, the best senior living in Michigan, we are proud to offer our residents a robust activity calendar to keep them up and moving all winter long! This includes activities such as group walks, dance classes, musicians, holiday parties, and so much more. These types of events are guaranteed to keep senior residents active and thriving even through the coldest months.


3.) Spend time with loved ones.

When someone suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, one of the main symptoms they might do is isolate themselves. They might not feel like getting out and talking with people, even if this will very likely help their situation. The longer it is allowed to go on, the worst it can get. This is especially dangerous for seniors, as senior isolation can lead to many other health concerns, including heart failure, obesity, and poor self care.

If you are facing these types of feelings, reach out to a loved one. This could be a daughter or son, a brother or sister, your spouse, or even the friends you have made at your senior living community. Just make sure you communicate with someone you trust about what is going on. Even if that person lives far away or out of state, you can still stay in contact with them via phone or even video chat. 

A senior couple enjoys a cup of coffee together at the best assisted living in Michigan


4.) Soak up the sunshine when you can.

While it is not secret that Michigan winters can be harsh, there will still always be days of sunshine. Cloudy, snowy, and overcast days can put a real damper on one’s mood, but that is why it is best to take advantage of any warm or sunny days while you can. Even if it is too cold to venture out away from the best assisted living in Michigan, you can still find a sunny spot by the window. Read a book you love or sit and talk with a friend. Either way, soaking up the sunshine and getting Vitamin D that way will help to put a little pep back into your step.


5.) Engage in hobbies you love.

Sometimes, one of the best things you can do to combat seasonal depression is to keep yourself busy. Now that you are retired, this might look a little different than it once did. Prior to retiring, maybe you were very busy with work or raising a family. Now that that chapter is over, it’s best to find a hobby or activity that you really enjoy. There is no right or wrong answer to this! 

For example, maybe you are passionate about reading and love diving into new books. Start a book club at that best assisted living in Michigan and talk about what you’ve read. Or perhaps if you love doing arts and crafts, or maybe even sewing or knitting, you can make gifts for your neighbors. Children’s homes and homeless shelters can always benefit from homemade blankets, hats, and gloves during this time of bitter cold. Now that you are retired, you have plenty of time to do the things you really love.


6.) Visit the salon.

Here at Oakleigh, our salon services are a huge hit among our residents. If you are feeling the winter blues, there is nothing like a selfcare day to really perk up your spirits! Visit the salon for a haircut and color. Or if you really want to treat yourself, opt for a manicure or pedicure. No matter what you end up choosing, a visit to the salon is going to boost your confidence and lighten your mood. 


The Best Assisted Living in Michigan

If you are interested in becoming a resident of Oakleigh, don’t wait any longer! Our senior living community is amongst the best in Michigan. With our laundry list of amazing amenities, our caring and highly trained staff, as well as our gorgeous grounds and facilities, we know you are going to love it here. Schedule a tour today or contact us for more information to get started!