Thirty (30) Self-Care Tips to Help for Seniors and Caregivers Fight the Winter Blues in this Extended Pandemic

Winter - Elderly couple walking in the park

The pandemic started in February 2020. We are in the third winter season of COVID -19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, winter was acknowledged as a season that could bring about what is known as the “winter blues.”  With the addition of the pandemic, which has gone on and on, the feeling of the winter blues has been compounded.

The recent spread of the Omicron variant across the country caused a rise in the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths over the last several months and weeks. Many have sought the safety of their homes and limited social and business gatherings. The feeling and reality of isolation has increased.

Seniors and caregivers of senior should pay careful attention to their mood and to self-care in the remaining winter weeks. Here are thirty (30) self-care tips that may help you fight and beat the winter blues during this extended pandemic.

Take Care of Your Physical Health (7)

  • Get out of house and take a walk- walk outdoors, walk in a mall, just keep it moving
  • Exercise at home to a YouTube video
  • Prioritize a good night’s sleep and make an effort to get to bed early
  • Eat as healthy as possible, prioritize eating fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine, sugary beverages, and alcohol
  • Protect yourself from exposure to the virus during the pandemic, wear a mask, social distance, be selective about where you go in public
  • Get your COVID-19 vaccination and booster-current statistics are showing this is one of best choices you can make

Take Care of Your Winter Mental Health (4)

  • Sunlight is proven to help one’s mental health-open your blinds and shades, sit or work in the sunniest room in your house, etc
  • Keep a gratitude journal-write 5-10 things down on a daily-basis that you are grateful to have experienced that day
  • Speak to yourself positively
  • Seek out ongoing or “as needed” professional mental health counseling to discuss your winter or ongoing blue mood

Set Aside Quiet Time (5)

  • Read a book
  • Take a long bath
  • Light a scented candle
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Take time for quiet mindfulness, prayer or meditation

Make Sure You Stay Connected (5)

  • Join a virtual book club
  • Seek out free community and virtual lectures for enjoyment and learning
  • Start a weekly or monthly Zoom meeting with family or friends
  • Call three (3) friends that you have not talked to for some time to catch up on each other’s lives
  • Invite a friend to join you for a brisk walk

Seek Out Support and Assistance (2)

  • Join a virtual caregiver’s support group
  • If you are overwhelmed by responsibilities, seek out assistance from family, friends or professionals that might support you

Pamper and Treat Yourself (4)

  • Purchase fresh cut flowers, it will remind you that spring and summer are around the corner
  • Cook a lavish dinner at home, something that you would consider too extravagant to order from a restaurant
  • Spend money on one of the home entertainment subscriptions (NetflixAmazon PrimeHULUDisney+, etc) and enjoy an abundance and variety of entertainment without leaving the house
  • Go for a spa treatment at a spa where COVID-19 precautions are being carefully adhered

Address Financial Issues That Are Causing You to be Blue (3)

  • Review and adjust your monthly expenses
  • Attend a virtual class on budgeting and financial planning
  • Talk to a legit and reliable financial professional about your concerns, plans and goals

Winter will soon come to an end! The Omicron numbers are going down! During this time practice self-care to fight and beat your winter blues! Spring will be in bloom soon! Days are getting longer, and the weather will warm up!

Stay safe, fight, and beat those winter blues!

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Gretchen Curry, MSPH