The temperatures are definitely dropping as we approach the winter months and our practices will need to change with the season. This time of year can prove to be a real struggle for activity coordinators, who may themselves be feeling low. Colleagues may be struggling and residents are in need of added motivation to get involved in the daily activities.
So why is this time of year such a struggle?
The cold, wet weather coupled with shorter, darker days and longer nights can all serve to make us feel miserable. Low mood can make us feel fatigued and for some (6% of Britons) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) kicks in.
We also put additional stress on our bodies. When we are not warm enough we brace ourselves against the cold, we wrap our arms around ourselves, we curl inward so that our shoulders are hunched and we drop our heads. This results in a lot of tension down our spines. Some people also clench their jaws and this will add extra tension and can sometime cause headaches too. Once in this position, particularly when we are seated, we can become reluctant to move.
And this all has an impact on our mood as well as our energy levels.
Here's 6 self-nourishing practices for wellbeing this winter;
Environment: Add cheery flowers and plants as well as cosy displays which include battery operated candles and fairy lights.
Movement: Use gentle stretching and breathing exercises to expand the chest and lengthen the spine.
Nutrition & Hydration: Serve warming drinks in favourite cups/mugs and pair with tasty, home-made, seasonal treats.
Social Connections: Keep those regular visits to your local town, library and coffee shop going. - Just make sure that everyone is dressed in appropriate winter clothing before you leave. And add more, small scale, events to encourage your visitors to come into your home.
Play: Include lots of physical group games to bring fun and laughter to the fore as well as offering more opportunities for movement.
Rest: Add cosy blankets (not too heavy) and soft music or nature sound recordings for moments of rest. Make sure that those who benefit from a sleep during the daytime are given a peaceful environment too.
Learn more in our 12 month online course The Activity Coordinators' Toolbox