Beating The Winter Blues In A Life Plan Community
There are countless reasons to love the winter season. For starters, the beauty of a freshly fallen snow, blanketing the world in white has a certain peaceful magic to it. And who could deny snuggling up by the fire on a cold night as one of life’s simple pleasures. But even an evening in the warmth of the fire’s glow isn’t always enough to brush off the winter blahs—also known as the winter blues.
You see, winter depression—or seasonal affective disorder—is a fairly common condition that follows the changing seasons. In fact, according to the America Academy of Family Physicians, about 10 to 20 percent of people may experience winter depression to varying degrees. But just like that beam of sunshine cutting through gray skies on a cloudy day, there are plenty of things you can do to beat your blues for better winter wellness. And many of them are easily found within the comfort of a Life Plan Community.
Lace up your runners and get moving
Getting at least 20 minutes of activity and exercise 3-4 times a week has been shown to improve everything from circulation to mood, especially when done during the daytime hours. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Tulsa found that those who performed physical activity under bright light reported fewer signs of seasonal depression compared to those with limited exposure.
One of the key aspects of a Life Plan Community is its focus on health and wellness. Residents of these communities are able to take advantage of everything from 24-hour use of all-season pools and fitness centers to a seemingly endless variety of classes such as yoga, Tai Chi, aerobics, Zumba, dance, and more. With so many options and opportunities for residents to stay active, the hardest part will be deciding what to do.
Step into the light
As winter weather permits, stepping outside to enjoy the day is a great way to lift the spirits. Not only will natural light have an impact on your overall mood, but sometimes it’s just nice to get out once and awhile.
One of the benefits of living within a 105-acre Life Plan Community, like Summit Vista, is the ability to enjoy a walk around campus. With plenty of well-kept walkways to stroll—and more to come as the community continues to grow—you won’t have to go far to get out.
Find reasons to laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine. Maybe because laughter triggers the release of feel-good endorphins, thereby stimulating processes in your brain that counter depressive symptoms. It also has the power to increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies for improved resistance to disease. But most importantly, laughter connects you to others, giving you that much-needed sense of belonging.
When it comes to living within a Life Plan Community, community life is an obvious part of that plan. With an assortment of resident-driven clubs, activities, and groups, as well as a warm and inviting clubhouse full of commons areas, restaurants, and game rooms, the opportunities to queue-up a laugh-out-loud movie or enjoy a light-hearted game night with friends are not hard to come by.
Eat Healthy Mood Food
Food can play a major role in your seasonal well-being. After all, it’s hard to deny the satisfaction that comes from indulging in a bowl of ice-cream or savoring a thick slice of chocolate cake. But those sweets will only curb your feelings temporarily and may even increase your winter depression symptoms. Instead, make health-conscious food decisions that will positively impact your seasonal health for the better.
The dining environment found within a Life Plan Community does just that. Not only do these communities typically offer everything from a more formal experience to more causal bistro settings, but the menu options are prepared by an executive culinary team and dieticians to ensure quality in taste, presentation and, of course, nutrition.
Accomplish something every day
It’s important to incorporate tasks into your day. Completing manageable activities has the power to give us a sense of competence and accomplishment, which are important components in our mental and emotional well-being.
One of the many ways residents of Life Plan Communities are able to achieve a healthy sense of accomplishment is through volunteer work. Many communities, like Summit Vista, provide countless opportunities to serve within the community, or in the greater surrounding area. These opportunities include working with organizations, mentoring at local schools, religious affiliations, and more.