After 18 months of ‘lockdown’ the thought of facing another four or five months hibernating from the cold can be extremely sorrowful. Protecting our health can be challenging at the best of times, but when the freezing, dark nights are drawing in early and the streets become impassable with snow, ice, and sleet, it’s imperative that we plan to protect our mental health, too.
One of the most important things to acknowledge is that we are not in this alone. Stay connected with others, avoid isolation, and aim to speak to another person at least once a day. A phone call, text message, zoom call or email can serve as wonderful ways to enjoy human company without needing to leave the house! Even better, invite a family member or friend round for a warm drink in a thermal cup – they will thank you for it!
Keeping yourself active is vital. Okay, it might not be possible for you to have your morning stroll, but a quick dance around the kitchen to your favourite music is a sure mood lifter!
Simply stretching in bed, in bed or a chair are all good pick-me-ups. Youtube also has a plethora of videos aimed at older adults who want to keep moving, from gentle yoga to energetic aerobics.
Be aware of your food intake. If you are finding it difficult to cook and manage big meals, try eating what you fancy little and often. Something, even if not the healthiest treat, is better than nothing; perhaps that guest that you invite over might bring with them a cake, or even better, set yourself the challenge of baking one for visitors!
Wrap yourself up! Layering is the best way to keep warm in winter. Buying yourself an essential pack of winter wear is a smart way to ensure you stay warm at home. Wear hats, scarves, and gilets around the home to ensure your body temperature is warmer that 35 degrees to stave off hypothermia. Keeping yourself snuggled up under a fleece blanket, in front of your favourite film, and with a hot chocolate is a way to keep warm and to boost happiness.
Puzzles and jigsaws are perfect to pass time when the weather is particularly atrocious; some people even enjoy playing games such as chess and draughts online, against their peers or even strangers!