If you live in the Northeast, the winter weather has been anything but your friend. The snow, ice and cold temperatures are enough to make anyone want to stay snuggled in bed — but don’t. Too much time lying sedentary will alter your body chemistry and depression might set in, which will only make your winter bah-humbugs even worse.
Follow these eight steps to get moving:
1. Exercise. The first thing you can do to shake off those winter blues is to exercise. Physical activity boosts serotonin levels in your body which helps to fend off depression. If it’s not too cold, go outside and take a good, long power walk.
2. Get into the light. Both natural and artificial sunlight have great benefits, so open the blinds and let those rays (what few there may be) in. If it’s an overcast day, turn on some lights inside the house instead.
3. Increase your social interaction. It’s easy to stay indoors when it gets cold or when bad weather makes transportation difficult. But, getting together with friends and family (even if it means setting up a play date for your kids just so you can mingle with other moms) and being social is a huge, mood-changing exercise no matter what time of year it is.
4. Make changes to your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and laying off of the caffeine and carbs will increase your mood and help in fending off winter weight gain.