As you get older, you tend to feel the effects of the chilly weather more, and it can seem like every winter is colder and longer than the last.
While it may be wet and grey (if you live in the southern parts of Australia) and the sun can disappear for days on end, winter does have its upside. Who doesn’t love getting cosy on the couch with a good book or movie? Add to that a hot chocolate with a marshmallow (or two) and suddenly the cold weather is bearable!
For many of us, winter is not our favourite season. But when you keep warm, healthy, active and make the most of the chance to relax and get cosy, you can avoid catching the winter blues. Here are some tips to help you enjoy winter in retirement.
First and foremost, you need to be warm to stay happy. This is especially important for seniors, as our bodies becomes less efficient at regulating temperature as we age. Keeping your house at a comfortable temperature with heating is obviously ideal, and you can supplement this with extra layers of clothes if needed. Add a couple of throw rugs to your couch for added cosiness during the evenings and put an extra blanket at the end of the bed ready for those extra chilly nights. Hot water bottles are also great at any time of day when you need to warm up fast!
Eating nutritious food is smart at any time of year, but during winter it can give you a noticeable boost. The risk of colds and flu turning serious is higher for seniors, so give your immune system a kick by including plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Comfort food is always calling in winter and it’s fine to indulge in your favourites, just keep it balanced.
It can be hard to get motivated to exercise when it’s cold, but getting your body moving regularly has many benefits. Exercising is great for the mind and the body, and is an important way to combat the winter blues. Whether you go for a brisk walk, swim laps, take a yoga class, or go to the gym, choosing an activity you enjoy makes it far easier to find the motivation.
Even in the depths of winter, we’re usually fortunate enough to have the odd sunny day thrown in here and there. So, keep your eye on the forecast and plan a little outdoor time while the rain is away. Whether you spend an hour or two in the garden, or go for a long walk, getting outside is an important way to refresh the senses.
As tempting as it is to stay glued to the couch, make sure you get out and about. Make an effort to keep up your regular social outings even if the weather is grey and gloomy. Even something as simple as a coffee catch up with a friend or an outing to the movies can do much to brighten your day.
Discover an Indoor Hobby
If you’re spending more time indoors, make the most of it by immersing yourself in a favourite pastime or hobby. You might challenge yourself to read a book a week, or rediscover your music collection, or knit yourself a new scarf. There are endless possibilities!
A lack of natural light in winter is a significant factor in the winter blues, or the more serious seasonal affective disorder. Make sure you open the curtains every day and let the light in to your home. It sounds like a small thing, but it can be a significant mood booster.
Final Word on Enjoying Winter in Retirement
Although most of us pine for the warmer months to tick around, winter can be a beautiful time of year. If you’re struggling to get through the shorter, colder days, make it your goal to find new ways to keep active, warm and happy – and who knows, you might just find yourself enjoying winter!
Over to You
Do you have a winter survival tip for retirees that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it!
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