It's that time of year. The winter weather has taken hold of our daily lives and unless you're still following the Julian Calendar, the cheer of the holiday season is over.

It's no wonder that many consider January to be the most depressing month of the year. As a January Aquarian, I beg to differ, but I understand nonetheless. If you've been feeling a bit affected by the winter blahs, you're not alone. There are things you can do to feel better, if not great, despite the weather.

How You Can Beat the Winter Blues

There are innumerable messages out there about New Year's resolutions and weight loss schemes and workout plans, some of which may actually be good for you to consider. However, hearing a laundry list of the things you SHOULD be doing while you're just struggling to successfully fight the urge to stay home and lay around all day, may not be all that helpful. Perhaps it's time to make your own short-list of things to try right now to feel better.

5 Things to do Right Now in Yakima to Beat the Winter Blues

Everyone is different, and not all of these things are perfectly suited to everybody, but as a general rule, these positive steps may be just what your Doctor would order.

1) Get Plenty of Rest to Beat the Winter Blues

We're not talking about laying around on the couch all day kind of rest. We're talking about getting the right amount of rest that your body and mind need. In other words, a good night's sleep. 8 hours is optimal for most adults. So, pry yourself away from the screentime, and get to sleep instead.

2) Excercise can Help you Beat the Winter Blues

You don't have to hire a personal trainer or go to the gym and start pumping iron. Either of those options could be right for someone, however, exercise can come in many different forms that you can work into your daily life. Shovel any snow lately? Me too. Taking the dog for a long walk was good for me and Tater loved it. Bundle up and watch your step. Whether treadmill or stationary bike or walking up and down those flights of stairs at the office, moving around is just plain good for your health, and mood.

3) Eating Healthy Foods can Help with Mood

Try some new recipes, cook a meal with your spouse, keep a journal of what you eat and when. These are all good ways to begin to eat healthier and make better choices. It is all too easy to curl up on the couch, flip on the TV and gobble down a bunch of 'comfort foods'. However, the comfort is fleeting, and you may find, in addition to having winter blues, your pants are not nearly as comfortable as they used to be.

4) Winter Blues Could Mean You May be Suffering from SAD

SAD is more than just a groovy acronym. Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and you should definitely see your doctor if you feel that you may be struggling with depression. It's more than just shorter days, longer nights, and not enough sunlight. While light therapies and upping your dose of vitamin D might help, you should never attempt to self-diagnose or self-treat such conditions. See your doctor.

5) Doing Something Nice for Someone is a Great Way to Beat the Winter Blues

A random act of kindness not only benefits the beneficiary of the kind act. You benefit as well. It could be shoveling the snow for an elderly neighbor. Take someone a healthy meal if they're snow-bound or not feeling well. Engage in charity work in your community. There is no shortage of people out there who could use your time and talents. Share them with someone and it will help you both beat the winter blues.

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