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Top Ten Ways to Bust the Winter Blues

Jan 31, 2023 05:00AM ● By Stephanie Sabin



The winter blues. That persisting low feeling seems to take over in January when the holidays are over, days are shorter, and the weather is colder. How can we combat those days? Here are some things to try!

1. Find the light! When the sun is shining, get outside or try light therapy. The National Institutes for Health states that reduced sunlight in fall and winter can disrupt your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm. This 24-hour “master clock” responds to cues in your surroundings, especially light and darkness. During the day, your brain sends signals to other parts of the body to help keep you awake and ready for action.

2. Cue up the music. Listening to upbeat music, even as you run errands or do house chores, is an inexpensive and easy way to stimulate those endorphins.

3. Exercise. Maintaining your exercise routine throughout the winter months is not only important to your physical health but can also greatly benefit your mental health says Think Health. Studies show just 15 minutes of exercise can have a positive effect. The Think Health webpage provides many fun exercise ideas such as going for a winter walk with your pups, playing in the snow, or attending a yoga class.

4. Get out and socialize. Meet a friend for dinner, go see a movie or join a bowling league. Take the kids to the skating rink or the playground. Being out with people generally improves our mood.

5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. A National Sleep Foundation study found the minimum hours of sleep vary with age: newborns need between 14 and 17 hours, infants between 12 and 15 hours, toddlers between 11 and 14 hours, preschoolers between 10 and 13 hours, and school-aged children between 9 and 11 hours. For teenagers, 8 to 10 hours was considered appropriate, 7 to 9 hours for young adults and adults, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults.

6. Laugh! We have all heard that laughter is the “best” medicine. Turn that frown upside down. Watch a comedy, listen to a goofy podcast, or recall a funny story. The benefits of laughing have been proven by the Mayo Clinic.

7. Volunteer. Many community and local organizations need assistance. Find one that interests you and get involved. Giving back has a way of making us feel better and more appreciative of the things we have.

8. Journal. The Insider reports that journaling can relieve stress, anxiety, or depression. Pick up a colorful notebook, and some snazzy pens and start to write or draw. There really are no limits to putting your thoughts or feeling down on paper.

9. Try Aromatherapy. Light a candle, diffuse incense or get essential oils. John Hopkins Medicine states that aromatherapy can have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

10. See your doctor. Speaking with a professional is encouraged. Your doctor may be able to advise medical ways to get you or a family member through a difficult time.

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