Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

Try Our Ideas For Preventing Winter Depression

By Mary L. Doepke, RN

It’s December 21. From this day forward, the days will start to get just a little longer and the nights a little shorter. But it won’t always seem like that, and winter depression is a real thing. January and February can drag on, causing some people to become sad, bored and lonely.

It’s true that getting outside can be tough during the year’s coldest, iciest months, but there are ways to liven things up and to ward off winter depression. Give some of our ideas a try!

Walk This Way

Those who are accustomed to a daily walk outside might not want to risk slipping and falling during the winter months. For those people, an indoor stroll is just the thing to keep in shape while the weather is bad.

We’ve assembled a list of places where you can walk indoors. Check it out here and find a place near you!

Give Your Library a Second Look

If you still think of your local library as a building full of dusty books and kindergarten storytimes, you’re missing out on a whole new world.

Today’s public libraries double as classrooms, art galleries, music venues and public computer labs. They host movie screenings, book clubs, writing and knitting groups, and even yoga classes! And let’s not forget the large-print and audio books, most of which can be borrowed without ever leaving your home. And the best part – it’s all free!

Find your local library on our list, available under the Resources section of

Let the Sun In!

Lack of light is one of the causes of winter depression and seasonal affective disorder. So let the light in!

Heavy curtains can keep out the cold, but they also turn your living room into a dark and dreary cave. Make the most of winter’s fleeting hours of daylight by opening up curtains and blinds. Removing screens can let even more light make its way to your living space.

A Healthy Glow

A light bulb isn’t just a light bulb anymore. Today’s bulbs come in many different types and colors, including warm white and cool white, as well as daytime hues. Experiment with a few to see which one is the best choice for your home.

You might even consider a S.A.D. light – a lamp made to imitate the rays of the sun.

Pour Yourself a Glass of Summer

Who says lemonade can only be enjoyed in the summer?

Lemon and other citrus smells have been shown to decrease feelings of depression, so whether it’s a cold glass of lemonade or a cup of orange zest tea, pour yourself a little taste of summer and perk up your winter.

A summery-smelling candle can brighten up your mood, too.

Beckon Spring With Blossoms

Invite spring into your home with a container of hyacinth bulbs, a bouquet of tulips or a pot of daffodils. Flower shops are filled with warm-weather blooms that will add life and color to your living space.

Small Changes

The house can look a little bland once the holiday decorations are back in the basement. Liven things up with a bright-colored throw blanket, a couple of new throw pillows on the couch or a colorful new lampshade. Small changes can go a long way to refresh a tired room, and your attitude.

Pieces of Summer

Spend an afternoon putting together a jigsaw puzzle of a warm, summer scene. Not only will the resulting picture make you feel a little closer to the sun, the activity itself will keep your hands and mind busy.