KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Dealing with winter weather can be tough enough, but there are a
few easy things you can do to get you out of the winter blues.
Winter blues can be aggravated by anything from driving in
dangerous conditions to worrying about what to do with the kids if
school gets cancelled. Repeated storms that bring these extra
stresses can make them even worse.
"I think people tend to get demoralized dealing with recurring
bouts of anything stressful," says Tahir Rahman, MD of the
Kansas City Psychiatric Group.
Rahman suggests a few tips to help you get over the doldrums of
our coldest season.
Tip #1: Bring in the light
At this time of year, we miss out on sunlight that is a natural
mood enhancer. So Rahman suggests turning on more lights in your
house or office to brighten the room and brighten your mood. Light
therapy has proven effective to treat serious mental conditions
such as Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression. Light therapy
lamps can be purchased with specific light bulbs, but they do get
expensive. Just one can cost hundreds of dollars.
Tip #2: Exercise
Exercise can increase endorphins which provide a mood boost.
Exercising at the start of the day also gets blood pumping to your
brain and can help you be more alert.
Tip #3: Eat a good breakfast
If you are craving carbs this time of year, don't be surprised.
It is common, and some theories suggest it is a natural tendency
left over from when humans needed to bulk up in winter to stay
warm. Eating a healthy breakfast will help you burn more calories
throughout the day, fight off weight gain and be more
Tip #4: Embrace winter
Rahman says it is important to find something fun to do that you
can only do in this cold weather. That helps you associate the
season with the fun activity. Rahman says we can take a cue from
northern states where people thrive on activities like skiing and
The frustration of dealing with winter is not to be confused
with serious mental conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder or
depression, which can be either directly affected by the winter
season or worsened by it. If you are having trouble functioning at
work or home, Rahman says it is crucial to seek professional help.