grey wood in winter landscape backgroundWhen you look at the calendar, it’s a long, long way to summer. Sigh. Although we have spring to look forward to, we must weather the winter first. The days are shorter, the commutes to work are often more difficult and we spend much of our time indoors. It’s no wonder many of us catch the winter blues! Here’s how to beat them:

Get outside and take a walk within an hour of waking up in the morning. One of the main reasons that people seem to suffer from the winter blues is lack of sunlight. Getting outdoors, even if it’s just for a short walk, will do you good. An artificial sunlight box can be helpful for those who are unable to get outside and soak up some sun.

Take a winter vacation. Although most of us reserve vacation time for the summer, taking a winter vacation someplace warm can be fun and highly beneficial.

Get up, and get moving! Exercising is one of the last things that most people want to do in the winter time. Yet exercise releases endorphins, those hormones that keep us happy, which means that exercise — indoors or outdoors — is an important part of beating the winter blues.

Limit your caffeine intake. Drinking tea and coffee is a great way to warm up in the winter time. Many can’t imagine driving to work, walking outside or strolling around the block without a warm beverage in hand when the temperature drops. Try some decaffeinated warm beverages and drink plenty of water. Many of us are dehydrated in the winter months.

Get social. Spend some fun time with friends and/or family. Research shows that social connections — in person, not just over social media — are important for keeping us happy and healthy.

Eat healthy. Making healthy food choices also helps combat the winter blues. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods.

Get help. Sometimes the winter blues can develop into depression. Talk to your physician if you’re having trouble coping with the challenges of winter time weather.