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​Beat Those Winter Blues: 5 Easy Ways to Boost the Spirits of Patients and Healthcare Staff

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Notice that change in the air?

That’s not just the cold chill of the fall months telling us that “Winter is Coming.”

The upcoming months are also well-known for a change in seasonal mental patterns that lead to the spread of unwanted Winter Blues. Such is believed to be brought on by the decrease in sunlight and shorter days that can imbalance our circadian rhythms and affect our body’s ability to function smoothly. Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects an average of 10-percent of the population; ranging in symptoms of poor mood and irritability, a decrease in energy, changes in appetite, anxiety, weight changes, fatigue, and so on.

This prevalence tends to occur more in women, usually between the ages of 18 and 30 years, though rates are believed to be higher overall since many instances are believed to go unreported or misdiagnosed. Studies in recent years have also found that nurses and other healthcare professionals are also significantly at risk for experiencing this disorder, due to their lengthy shifts and limited exposure to sunlight. The same can be said for many patients, particularly those who are bedridden or otherwise confined to a hospital setting for an extended period of time.

At Younique Scrubs, we not only care for the comfort you feel wearing our beautifully-crafted, custom-fitted scrub wear, we also care for the mental health of both your patients and employees. That is why we want to provide you with some of the best ways of how to beat those winter blues and boost the spirits of your patients and healthcare staff. Here are a few tips to rid of seasonal depression and make the season a little brighter:

Tip #1: Encourage Healthy Eating

When overwhelmed with feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and the like or being immersed in long hours of work, it’s easy to want to default towards eating quick meals that don’t necessarily have any nutritional value. This can be dangerous in the healthcare setting, where patients need to maintain a healthy regime in order to build-up their immune system and strength for a quicker recovery, and nurses, doctors and other medical staff need it to persevere through lengthy and tiring shifts all day or night. In order to encourage healthy eating in a more effortless and enjoyable way, and encourage employee productivity, consider providing some quick and easy snacks, vouchers to local vendors (for patient’s family members and health care staff), or provide meals in the break room. For patients, assuming they are not on a strict or specific diet, make sure there are a wide-variety of deliciously healthy option in the hospital cafeteria or send around a trolley of items for them to enjoy.

Tip #2: Get Everyone Moving!

Being stuck in a hospital bed is no fun and can make depression worse. Same goes with employees working long hours and feeling they have no time for themselves or to unwind with another form of physical exercise beyond walking around hospital corridors. Help employees let off some steam and patients enjoy a healing stretch with yoga, tai chi, hula hooping, or another light activity. Maybe even have a dance party for those that are willing and able, either in a single space or have staff dance throughout the halls spreading joy and laughter to patients, while also reducing stress and anxiety. If it is warm enough, trying to take the fun outside to help further reduce depression, weight gain, and fatigue brought on by lack of Vitamin D gained from exposure to sunlight.

Tip #3: Provide Some Entertainment

Fun and entertaining distractions can be the best medicine sometimes, bringing on bouts of laughter, social interactions, and newfound energy. Having a space or even just the resources available for patients and staff members to interact with each other playing board and card games, mind games, puzzles, etc. Perhaps even have a weekly movie night, themed for the holidays or some oldie but goodies, paired with popcorn and other simple snack items. Or, based on patient allergies and phobias, bring in some therapy dogs that will provide some unequivocal, instant friendship and furry love.

Tip #4: Get Crafty

Art is something that truly speaks to the soul and providing healing at any walk of life. Studies have shown that getting crafty has the same effect on your brain as feeling emotions of love and desire. What is known as the feel good factor, helps individuals have a more positive perspective, see greater beauty in the world, and internally manage the stresses and anxieties of their life in a more manageable fashion. So spread the love and gather a variety of supplies to have staff get together or patients pick and choose what they want to create and how they want to create it. You can even create decorations for the upcoming holidays to spread beauty and happiness all winter long.

Tip #5: Pay it Forward

When you put others before yourself, it seems to lift your spirits in a way that nothing else can compare to, because you know that you are improving the well-being and life of someone else. Collaborate with your staff of what types of things they would like to do to give back to the community or even those around your health care setting. Have patients make crafts that can be given to children, family members or other patients. Encourage both patients and staff to make cards for someone else in your little community, to show thanks and encouragement. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel good spreading joy to everyone around you.

Bonus Tip!

Treat your health care staff with a gift that keeps on giving. That is, treat them to some of Younique Scrub’s custom scrubs! Why? Not only will they appreciate the unique designs, comfortable fit, and high-quality material; they will also be thankful to work for an organization that understands how something little can make a big difference in the lives of their beloved patients and respected staff. SAD has been found to cause symptoms of depression, which can include loss of self-esteem and hopelessness. Our unique scrub wear is guaranteed to turn that frown upside-down, providing your staff with a renewed sense of confidence and vitality, and your patients with a greater sense of healing hope and happiness.

Peruse our website to check out our great selection of scrub wear, perfect for people of all shapes and sizes, individuals or large staff groups, and customizable for any time of the year!

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