Help shaking off the winter blues
AGEWISE: Help shaking off the winter blues
Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
Q: I'm having a difficult time fighting off the winter blues. Do you have any tips to help me shake this feeling?
Answer: It's fairly common for someone to feel a little "blah" or fall into a temporary slump as we transition to wintertime.
Often, feeling glum this time of year can be linked to something specific, such as stressful holidays or reminders of absent loved ones. People may also feel a little blue in general due to the dark mornings, darker evenings and chilly gray days. Either way, your feelings may be a signal to spend a little extra time on self-care. Here are a few things that you can try doing to stay well:
Stay active. Take a walk, go for an indoor swim, or maybe take a class like chair yoga. Try to keep the body engaged and fight the urge to hibernate. Physical activity is a great way to get the body's endorphins flowing and boost mood.
Soak up the sun. Sunlight can help with the body's levels of vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin. If you can't make it outside, try to arrange sitting by a window that gets plenty of sunlight for an hour or two each day.
Connect with others. Make time to reach out to trusted friends and family. Spending time with people from your support system can help prevent isolation and give you a few more reasons to smile.
Eat healthy. Be sure to eat a variety of nutritious foods that are high in vitamin D.
Be patient. Winter blues generally ease over time.
If you try a few of the tips above and still feel overwhelmed, it may be possible that professional help is needed. Remember, it is always a good idea to talk to your health care provider about changes in your physical and mental health. Speaking with a mental health professional or taking a mental health assessment might help you better understand how well you are coping.
Q: Is there any local help for seniors that own their homes but cannot afford home repairs such as plumbing. - EF
Answer: Keeping up with home repairs can be costly, but it plays an important role in helping older adults continue to live safely in their own homes. For seniors who have low or fixed incomes, there are several kinds of resources available for finding assistance:
Insurance. Certain long-term care insurance policies cover home modifications and safety repairs. Check with your insurance company for details about what your specific policy may cover.
Reduced Fee or Sliding Scale Contractor Services. Some contractors offer services on a sliding scale or at a discount for older adults. The Better Business Bureau can assist with referrals. For more information call 336-725-8348 or visit.bbb.org/northwestern-north-carolina/.
Community Organizations. There are nonprofit organizations that offer programs that assist seniors with home repairs.
The Shepherd's Center of Winston-Salem's Minor Home Repair Program provides minor home repair services to older adults (age 60+) in the greater Winston-Salem area. Services are provided by trained volunteers of all ages from area congregations, organizations, and the greater community. For more information call 336-748-0217 or visit shepherdscenter.org/minor-home-repair.
Individuals who live in the Kernersville and Walkertown area can contact The Shepherd's Center of Kernersville'sHandy Person Ministry at 336-996-6696 or shepctrkville.com/TSC-services/handyperson-and-equipment-loan. They provide free labor for minor home repairs such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and various types of yard work.
"Nehemiah's Few" is a group from the Triad Baptist Church's Men's Fellowship who have carpentry, electrical, landscaping, plumbing and other household skills and are ready to help the community. For more information, contact the Triad Baptist Church office at 336-996-7573 or visit tbcnow.org/nehemiahs-few.
AgeWise is a weekly column compiled by staff of Senior Services Inc., a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem. If you have a question, email [email protected] or mail to Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27105.