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Beating the Winter Blues


The days are short and the air is cold. For many, the winter season means driving to work in the dark and driving home when it’s even darker. When we need to go outside, we bundle up and try to get to our cars as soon as possible. It’s easy to get the “blues” during the winter: lack of motivation, low energy, and mild depression.

Here are some tips for keeping the winter blues away:

Keep moving – Staying active all year long will help keep your spirits high. Exercise will help reduce stress and give you more energy all day long. Exercise also releases endorphins – chemicals that help improve mood.

There are plenty of exercises you can do at home, or consider trying an exercise class at a local gym like the YMCA or the Allegiance Health Wellness Center. You can even meet a friend to walk at Jackson Crossing or Westwood Mall.

Eat the good stuff - Feeling blue leaves many people craving comfort foods. Don’t make these items off limits, but remember to eat in moderation, and to balance meals. Eating well balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep you feeling great.

There are lots of ways to use frozen or canned fruits and vegetables for your winter meals. To get the best values on fresh produce, learn about winter crops.

Get some light – Spending several months at a time almost exclusively indoors is hard. Bundle up and take a walk, play with your kids, or take the dog for a walk. Braving some time outside in the fresh air can really pay off.

Consider a walk on the Falling Waters Trail, ice skating at Cascades, or cross country skiing at Waterloo Recreation Area.

Make plans – Plan activities with friends and family that you will look forward to. Whether it’s meeting for dinner, going bowling, a night in crafting, or talking on the phone or video chatting, spending time with others is good for emotional health.

Check out the great workshops at special events at the Jackson District Library branches, meet for coffee and music Friday nights at Jackson Coffee Company, or find a family friendly movie playing at The Michigan Theater.

Stay hydrated – People think about drinking water when the weather is hot, but cold winter air and heated rooms are very dry. If you don’t usually drink much water, try keeping a bottle of water with you to sip throughout the day, and drink a glass of water at each meal.

What do you do during the winter to keep the blues at bay?

Shaina Tinsey