It is tempting to stay home and hibernate in the midst of January, especially when it’s cold and dark and snowy.  Don’t do it!

Even though the temptation to stay inside cosy and warm is strong, recent research points to the benefits of getting outdoors for at least a short time every day!

As widows and widowers, we often spend more time alone than others in our community, which may increase sad feelings or a sense of isolation. According to this NBC article, getting outside and getting some natural sunlight and fresh air, even for 15 or 20 minutes a day, raises moods, helps reestablish better awake and sleep cycles and improves our immune systems.

Of course, if the sidewalks are icy or it is frigidly cold outside, then staying in is the better choice until the weather improves.  If you are feeling isolated, there are a few things we can suggest to help out.  According to this article, alone time is a positive thing if we can set our minds to view it that way.  It’s important to spend some time alone daily, away from screens and devices, and reconnect with ourselves. After all the most important relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves, so unplugging from daily life and focusing on you and what you want can be a positive thing.

If you’ve had enough alone time and the winter and the weather are wearing you down, reconnecting with others helps to cheer you. Volunteer for your favourite charity or organization, call up friends you haven’t seen for a while or come out to a Widowed Friends event – we are always happy to see you!  Just being around people can lighten your mood and change your perspective and remember, spring is only 50+ days away!