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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

How to Beat the Winter Blues

While visually-stunning, winter gives us some of the coldest, darkest days of the year.

It’s a dreary time—isolating, even. So it’s no wonder Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 3% of the general population. Those with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder are at even greater risk.

Fortunately, we can all make an effort to elevate our mood this winter. Here are some strategies for doing just that:

  • Soak up the sun.

Getting enough sun in the winter can be tough—yet even just 20 minutes outside can boost your serotonin levels. If you’re in a place that doesn’t get much light in the colder months, consider looking into a vitamin D supplement.

  • Drink lots of water.

We talk about eating a wholesome diet often—and yes, healthy eating is crucial. However, drinking enough water is just as important. Hydration, in fact, can help prevent fatigue, mood problems, and even headaches.

  • Sweat it out.

Though it may feel too cold to exercise, we promise you it’s not (so long as you go about it safely). Regular exercise has both immediate and long-term positive effects on our health. Breaking a sweat will release endorphins that make you feel good.

  • Eat dark chocolate.

We come bearing good news: Research reveals that dark chocolate composed of at least 70% cocoa boosts the body’s phenylalanine production. This can help trigger dopamine release in the brain, improving our mood as a result.

Still feeling down after implementing these tips? You may want to consult a therapist, or connect with your primary care provider for more insights.

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