Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

7 Ways to Perk Up Your Winter

By Mary L. Doepke, RN

With the excitement of the holidays behind us and months of winter still ahead, January can be a tough month. That’s especially true for older adults who have difficulty getting out of the house in the ice and snow, as well as their caregivers.

But all it takes is a little effort and creativity to bring a little sunshine to the dreary days of January and perk up your winter. Here are a few to try.

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 you can only have lemonade 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.

And Speaking of Smell

Take yourself back to summer with a coconut-scented candle, a citrusy essential oil or a bar of mango-scented soap. Essential oils also are a great way to introduce happy aromas to your home.

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.