Feeling blue? Here are 10 ways to boast your mood during the rough Southwest Michigan winters.

Ever wonder why you are so depressed after the holidays and during the snowy months here is Southwest Michigan?

Well, WWMT.com reported that January is the month when the winter blues hit some of us pretty hard...

“Usually about January is when It hits and people are starting to go I’ve got a little bit of depression maybe from the holidays. And also the days are very much shortened, said Borgess Medical Center Doctor Ann Crabb. “All of this adds together. The cold, the snow, the shorter days. All of this adds up to the depression.”

So what is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? According to the web-site Nhs.uk...

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

Now that we know what SAD a.k.a. the "winter blues" are, what can we do to improve our mood during the winter months?

Beating The Winter Blues

  • Keep Active

Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.


  • Get Outside

Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.


  • Keep Warm

Being cold makes you more depressed. It's also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.

Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 64F and 70F degrees.


  • Eat Healthily

A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.


  • See The Light

Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day.


  • Take Up A New Hobby

Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. "It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on.


  • See Your Friends And Family

It's been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.


  • Talk It Through

Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms.


  • Join A Support Group

Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it's like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.


  • Seek Help

If your symptoms are so bad that you can't live a normal life, see your General Practionsor  for medical help.

SAD is not rare and it is nothing to joke about. If you have tried to battle the blues with little success, please contact your doctor right away. There is no reason to be depressed if you can possible help it!


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