How to support your relative’s wellness through winter
Surviving the winter for older people can be challenging and there is a danger they may slip into low moods. If you have an older relative to look after this winter it’s a good idea to support their health and wellness with regular communication and by encouraging some positive habits such as journaling, mindfulness, and healthy eating.
In this article we look at some of the best ways to look after your older relative this winter.
Journaling is a seriously underrated way to support your wellness. It’s underrated because people don’t know how to make the most of it. There are preconceived ideas that you have to write and many pages of personal details, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Journaling these days comes in many forms: bullet journals, dream journals, reflective journals, travel journals, the list goes on.
By journaling regularly, your older relatives can keep track of their life, remember the past and gain valuable perspectives.
You might encourage your older relative to be more creative at home. Making up fictional stories is a fun activity and easy to do if you know how – see the link for more details. Using your imagination to create new characters and worlds helps to process their creative energy and makes them feel better. They don’t have to do anything with the stories or show them to anyone, but if they want to, it can make for an interesting conversation with your relative.
Mindfulness practice takes many forms. You can simply pay attention to any activity you are presently engaged with, or make it a more formal practice, like a walking meditation, or a breathing one. You can also practise mindful drawing and colouring in, using books.
These are excellent ways to get into a space of mindfulness and forget time and stress for a while. Encourage your older relative to put some music on, light a candle, and play with a Zen colouring book now and again – it’s more pleasant than mediocre television.
Mindfulness meditation is also excellent for their mental and emotional states, as is movement meditation. Your relatives might be stressed because they need a mortgage broker to sell a home, or because the electricity company has increased the usage charge. Movement mediation is an excellent way to destress and improve their mental health. So what is it? Put simply it is yoga, or other light forms of movement such as Tai Chi, swimming, or walking. These light movement activities are very good for unlocking stress and blocked energy. Following a short session of this, your relative’s mind will feel clearer, and they will feel more like their old self again.
A Hearty Diet
Winter is a cold and brisk time of year. The weather and darkness make us want to retreat into our homes and hibernate. Sometimes this is the best thing to do, but you want to stay healthy at the same time. In these winter months, heavy nourishing foods are good to eat. Foods like potatoes, pumpkin, warm soup with crusty bread, and of course hot chocolate. Make sure you encourage your older relative to eat hearty meals regularly throughout the winter months to stay warm and cheerful.