Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

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1. Keep Busy!
The busier you are, the less often you’ll become aware of how dim and dark the days are, and how much you long for shorts and warm breezes.  Preoccupying your thoughts with productive and entertaining activities can keep your mind busy until the daffodils bloom again.  Go out to that poker night your friends keep inviting you to, dress up and attend some opening receptions at your local art gallery, or volunteer with a soup kitchen, library book sale, or Big Sisters association.  Anything that gets you out of the house and interacting with others will be beneficial to your state of mind.

2. Get Exercise.

Your body is likely to feel healthier, and in turn your mind will be more peaceful, if you make sure you get regular exercise each week.  The recommended amount of physical activity is 30 minutes, at least three days per week.  This can include walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator to the second level of the mall, or actually signing up for a membership at your local gym.  Of course, the best exercise is exercise you don’t have to pay for, so a jog along the river and feeding the ducks is a good idea that won’t take anything out of your vacation fund in exchange. 

3. Keep Your Space Clean.

A person’s domestic haven tends to get filthy during the winter, and this can affect your health to the extreme.  The longer hours of darkness in the evening hide the layer of grime on the kitchen floor, the dust on the bookshelves, and the cloudy film on the outside windows, and you’ll never know how much dirt and bacteria you’re ingesting as a result.  Set yourself a weekly schedule for cleaning, rather than waiting until spring, and you will feel more refreshed, less clogged up, and happier spending those long snowy afternoons in the confines of your own kitchen.

4. Eat Healthy.
You are what you eat, and don’t ever believe it’s not true.  If you forgo the time spent tossing a salad for another episode of America’s Top Model, you’ll be the couch potato you are indulging in.  In general, we get less exercise in the winter, and accordingly, we require less sustenance to survive; there’s no way around it, you simply need to eat less in the winter.  Take advantage of this by indulging in an afternoon nap instead of an afternoon snack.

5. Don’t Drown Your Sorrows.
Alcohol is a depressant, that’s a fact.  Although it may seem tempting to spend a night down in the cups, either with a bunch of the guys, or just yourself and a good movie, you will feel a deeper hue of the blues the next day…. And depending on the amount, it could take you several days to regain your rosy outlook.  Hydrating your body with water, tea or juice will do you better in the long run.

6. Hunker Down and Work.
All those projects you’ve been planning throughout the year?  Now is the time! Read those classic novels; learn to knit that sweater; back up your hard drive; whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t because the weather’s been too nice…. Well…. Now you have no excuse. 

7. Treat Yourself.
Let’s be honest, everyone needs a pick-me-up sometimes.  Usually sometime in
February.  So treat yourself to a massage, take your partner out dancing, or throw a
party just for fun.  Also try things to refresh surroundings, such as rearranging the
furniture, re-painting a room in red or yellow, or writing letters to old friends….
These will pick up your spirits and give you a new perspective on your surroundings,
making winter seem less of an ordeal.

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