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Battling the winter blues

By Shantala Sonnad, MD  |  2/2/2015

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m frozen. And depressed. And dry. And frozen. And I hate how dark it is at 4:45 p.m. And…did I mention I’m frozen??
I made the terrible mistake of having way too much fun in Florida with my family over the holidays, and now my post-vacay/post-holiday/post-warmth blues are getting the best of me.  We have at least 2 more months of this weather, so here are a few ideas for beating the winter blues.

Eat Well and Exercise

We truly are what we eat. Pack in refined sugars and excess carbs and you’ll be a roller coaster of emotions. Instead, drink plenty of water and eat as many colors every day as possible.  Almost everything white or brown is bad for you.

Besides helping us lose our newly acquired holiday poundage, exercise is truly the best way to relieve stress. The effects of a good workout can last for hours; you’ll be more energetic, your metabolism will stay elevated, and those “feel good” chemicals will help you conquer the winter darkness. Literally and figuratively.

If you need further motivation to exercise, check out the Wellness Center [link to Wellness Center page under Health and Wellness] at Northern Dutchess Hospital, which has fun classes and all the latest equipment!

Keep Up Those Resolutions

The CDC released a study stating depression is greatly increased as unhealthy behaviors increase (such as smoking, excessive drinking, overeating, and feelings of negativity). Definitely not rocket science. So make good on those happy, healthy resolutions you made just a few weeks ago. They’ll put a smile on your face.

Do One Fun Thing Every Day

I have to thank my mom for this one. Whenever I was burnt out studying for exams in medical school, fed up with applications, or just generally having a bad day, she would always tell me to plan one fun activity for the day. A few of mine were to run with my dog in the park, search travel sites to plan a dream vacation and even watch the Vampire Diaries.  I know, I know. Don’t judge. But having something fun to look forward to every day truly does make a difference!