Baby, it’s cold outside!

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues 
According to Punxsutawney Phil, we’re due for an early spring. However, it’s February and in the Midwest we’re still battling frigid temperatures and snow showers. The cold temperatures and limited exposure to sunlight, can often bring on symptoms of depression or even lead to seasonal affective disorder, more commonly known as SAD.

What it means to be SAD? According to CNN , more than 15% of people in the United States are affected by this condition. It may start in fall when we turn our clocks back and last until spring. When the winter blues kick in you may find yourself wanting to crawl into a ball and go to sleep or dive into a bag of potato chips. Hopefully, some of these tips will help brighten things up and lift your spirits!

1. Light Box 
A light box can simulate sunlight and actually change the levels of melatonin in your brain. Just 30 minutes a day can ease symptoms. Light boxes are relatively inexpensive, and can be set up near your desk while you work.

2. Exercise 
In addition to increasing weight loss and lowering your blood pressure, exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood. If you’re having trouble getting motivated then considering taking your pet for a walk (if you have one). Fido may benefit from the exercise, too!

3. Eat a balanced diet 
Craving carbohydrates can be a sign of depression. Fried foods, rich dairy products, and even alcohol can have an adverse effect on your mood. Try low fat meats, whole grains, and fresh fruits or vegetables. Consider snack alternatives like carrots, apples, or popcorn without butter that pack a crunch without the extra carbs and calories.

4. Get some zzz’s 
Getting a good night’s sleep will help boost your energy, increase your concentration, and help you perform better. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep nightly, and it helps to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. If you feel an afternoon slump, try a 15 minute power nap.

5. Be Social 
Consider signing up for a dance class, getting together with friends, or going away for the weekend. Winter can seem endless, but if you plan events and give yourself something to look forward to then it won’t seem so long.

Do you have any other tips for beating the witner blues? Share your ideas in the comment section. Stay warm, friends!

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