Winter is the most difficult time of the year for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, no matter your age or life stage! Cold weather can cause senior living residents to settle into their apartments and start to isolate, forgoing the activities that generally keep them active and happy.
Here are some wellness tips to stay on track in the chillier, gloomier months — or to help your loved one do so.
Caring for Physical Wellness
It’s likely too cold for you to spend much time walking around outside, but there are other fun and engaging ways to prioritize your physical wellness! You don’t need nice weather to stay active and take care of your body, especially for residents in a community like St. Anthony’s. We make holistic wellness a top priority, with options accessible to all residents. Here are some tips for keeping your physical health strong.
Start Using the Fitness Center
At St. Anthony’s, the fitness center is a great option to stay healthy! The St. Thomas More Wellness Center has several classes each day to keep your body nimble and energized even when the weather outside is especially frightful. For our residents with physical limitations, there are fitness classes for all levels and abilities, including chair fitness.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Comfort foods seem more tempting in the winter, don’t they? But it’s just as important now as it was in the spring and summer to monitor your diet and eat food that sustains you and cares for your physical well-being.
At St. Anthony’s, keeping up with a healthy diet is easy thanks to our chef-prepared, dietician-approved menu! Our residents enjoy delicious, hot meals with the ease of knowing they were prepared with dietary needs in mind.
Talk to Your Doctor About Supplements
Winter means spending more time indoors, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies from the lack of sunshine and fresh air. Talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements and any other vitamins or supplements that may be helpful during the wintertime.
Caring for Mental/Emotional Wellness
Emotional and mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness! In the wintertime, mental wellness struggles increase as many people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. This is especially difficult for seniors who may not receive as many visitors. Here are a few ways you can help yourself and others to have good mental health this winter.
We know it’s cold and not practical for everyone, but getting some fresh air can do wonders for your mental health. Taking a quick, ten minute walk can give you a more positive outlook. If you have a pet, they’ll likely appreciate it too! Just don’t forget to bundle up!
Friendships are just what you need to feel more cheerful and loved all winter long! Push yourself to get out and visit with your friends and family, even if staying in your warm, cozy bed seems like the better option at first.
Here at St. Anthony’s, opportunities to socialize take place every day! To make sure our residents are never without interesting things to do and ways to connect with each other, we fill the building with life-enriching activities everyone can enjoy, from happy hour to game nights to arts and crafts. Whatever you enjoy doing, we probably have an event on the calendar to match it!
Vulnerability can be scary, but it’s so important for your mental wellbeing. Encourage vulnerability in your loved ones by frequently checking in on their feelings and ask how you can love and support them better. It’s important to also be open yourself and share what you are thinking and feeling.
Ask for Help
Sometimes mental wellness takes a turn for the worse despite our best efforts, and that’s okay! The most important thing to do when you feel your mental health decreasing is to ask for help. It is not weak to admit you need support. It actually makes you very brave! If you are struggling with feelings of isolation or loneliness, or if you feel more agitated, anxious, or depressed during the winter season, talk to someone about it. A doctor can refer you to a therapist, or you can confide in a close friend or relative, or even the St. Anthony’s staff! The important thing is to talk about it and be willing to ask for the help you need.
If you have a loved one who is struggling, starting the conversation can sometimes be the greatest gift.
Plug into Spirituality
Many of us thrive when we refocus on our beliefs, especially faith and spirituality. While winter may present challenges with traveling to a church or place of worship, spiritual activities can help bring joy. You might try meditation, prayer, reading a spiritual book or even simple reflection.
Here at St. Anthony’s, our residents have access to on-site worship services and activities when part of our faith-based senior living community. We invite all our residents to experience our spiritual practices, regardless of their faith background!
Stay Well in Senior Living
Many of these tips may seem more difficult to handle on your own as you age, especially if you live alone. Whether you require additional care support or not, senior living can be transformative to both your physical and mental wellness. St. Anthony’s Senior Living is much more than a nice building with a fitness center — We’re a community, a family, and we’d love for you to become part of it.
If you’re looking for the right senior living environment for yourself or a loved one in Kansas City, contact us to schedule a tour!