Avoiding the winter blues - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Avoiding the winter blues

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By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals

As the days get shorter and colder, you may find yourself with a case of the "winter blues." The "winter blues" can include mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during the winter months. Here are some tips to help prevent the blues.

Even if you feel like spending the whole weekend in your easy chair, get up and get moving! Physical activity is great for relieving the stresses of life. You'll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will stay elevated. A healthy diet will also boost your mood, give you more energy and help prevent weight gain over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Lack of sunlight can cause many people to feel a little down. Try to spend more time outdoors in the sunshine when you can. Keep your window shades up during the day to let more light in, and sit near windows in restaurants, at work, or during class. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs which mimic natural light.

Finally, take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high and sailing into spring.

To learn more, watch the "Ask the Doc" video!

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