22 Nov Case Managers – December 2021
Start Prepping. Just how you prepare your home for the winter, such as getting out shovels, sidewalk salt and turning on the heat in your house, you can do some things to prepare to fight loneliness! Whether it’s picking out new books to read, creating a list of movies you want to watch, making plans for the future or just preparing yourself mentally, you can ready yourself for what’s ahead!
Be Realistic. Life recently has been different than “normal” and it’s okay to admit it. Be realistic about your winter goals and go in with an understanding that this winter might still be different than past years. Winters can be very difficult, so try to accept that and prepare accordingly.
Think About your Self-Care. As we talked about in a previous month, self-care is critical! You need to take care of both your body and mind, taking some time for relaxation and destressing. Find an activity you enjoy or a new hobby that you can dive into and use the cold months as an opportunity to do just that! For more ideas, check out page 15.
Get Outside. Being out in the cold does not sound appealing, however, mental health experts have talked about the benefits of catching some fresh air, even in the winter! Take a short walk or stand outside for 10 minutes and enjoy the winter sun. The importance of nature cannot be understated, year-round!
Understand the Difference Between Loneliness and Being Alone. Don’t feel bad if you enjoy spending some time alone. If you start feeling deeper feelings of loneliness, isolation, low self-esteem or other negative feelings, take a look back at your self-care ideas which you thought about earlier in this article. Take some time for yourself and your mental health and if needed, contact a professional.
Be Open with Family and Friends. If you are struggling with the winter, isolation or other feelings that the cold brings, be open with your family and friends. Let them know how you are feeling. Is there anything they can do to help? Do you want them to visit? Can you make plans for the future? Don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones.
Go Easy on Yourself. Did you not get as much done today as you wanted? That’s okay. You can’t be perfect every single day and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Taking days off to take care of your mental health is natural and normal and should not be shamed. Try and change your perspective on what you consider to be a day well spent.
We hope these tips find you well and you get through this winter happy and healthy! Don’t forget to check the rest of the Chronicle for upcoming events! We hope to see you at VSC, whether it be for a movie, games or anything in-between. Let us be a teammate of yours in the fight against loneliness!
Julie Larson, Lead Case Manager
Self-care, or your deliberate behavior to improve your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, is often an overlooked aspect of taking care of oneself. As we transition into the winter, many people often experience loneliness or isolation due to having to be stuck inside during the cold months. This can lead to issues involving mental health and overall happiness, so the idea of self-care is as important as ever! While being kind to others is essential, so is taking care of yourself. There are many benefits of self-care as well as different ways to practice it, which I would love to share with you today!
Treat Yourself. Often people believe they should not splurge or treat themselves, yet that does more harm than good. Saving money is critically important as well as knowing your limits. That being said, you deserve to treat yourself every now and again. If you find that you have some excess funds, get yourself a new book! Go treat yourself to a massage! Get that shirt or blouse you have been eyeing in the store for weeks! Most things are good in moderation and finding ways to treat yourself is a great way of boosting mood and adding happiness to your life. The same can be said with finding time for activities that you enjoy or you find relaxing! Build time into your schedule to do something you enjoy. Schedule it into your calendar each day so you always have something to look forward to.
Sleep. Sleep is critical to one’s health and wellbeing. A poor sleep schedule makes every day harder; you are less productive while tired and it leads to a wandering mind. A lack of sleep is also incredibly detrimental to physical health. Weakened immunity, memory issues, high blood pressure and even weight gain are all attributed to a lack of sleep, along with a slew of mental and emotional downsides as well. Studies show adults 65+ should aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, if not more.
Meditation. Whether you believe in the more spiritual aspects of meditation or not, it still has numerous self-care benefits. Taking some quiet time to focus on your breathing and meditating reduces stress, manages anxiety, increases self-awareness and can even improve your sleep! An added benefit is the ability to meditate outside since the activity is easily accessible. All the previously stated perks and the ability to get outside and get some fresh air. What is not to love!
Exercise. Your body and mind have a unique connection and work together with one another more than we know. If your physical health is not good, there is a great chance that your mental health won’t be the best either. One way to both benefit your mental and physical health, is to get some exercise. Exercise doesn’t just have to be lifting 100-pound weights or going on a 5-mile run. Exercise can take many different shapes and forms such as going on a 30-minute walk at a local park, going for a swim, line dancing or playing your favorite sport. All of these activities boost your heart rate, get your blood pumping and release serotonin from your brain which helps elevate mood!
I hope now you have a better understanding of the importance of self-care and some ideas on how to practice it in the future! Especially in the gloomy winter months, find creative ways to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing. Happy holidays!
Drake Deno, Case Manager