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Get Ahead of the Winter Blues

If you are anything like me, you are so excited for fall! The air is starting to feel crisp, leaves are ever so slightly beginning to change color, and pumpkin is creeping into the grocery stores.

With fall comes shorter days that lead to a cold winter. While all the seasons are wonderful and perfectly orchestrated, we all know what lurks around that bend-the winter blues. As the leaves fall and crumble, our emotions can be tempted to follow downward.

Do you know what I am talking about? Have you ever experienced that unmotivation, saying no to plans, and pajama putting on at 7 p.m. (or earlier)? If we are not actively directing our attitude towards positivity, it becomes extremely easy to fall into a seasonal depression.

Let's avoid getting into that routine this year! Let's take the time now to prepare ourselves. We can fill our toolboxes with ways to prevent the blues when winter hits this year!

Don't seclude yourself!

Seclusion is detrimental. Fight the urge to go into your room and shut the door. Force yourself to be surrounded by people who will support you, watch a movie next to you, or grab your favorite meal with you.

Seclusion will further depression-like emotions. Or even cause you to go deeper into depression.

Let light in!

While the sun doesn't stay out as long in the winter, it is still there! Open up your shades, sit by the window that lets the most sunshine in, or bundle up to brave the cold for five minutes to soak up the winter vitamin D.

More symbolically, let Jesus in! He is the light of the world. In my experience, He is the true solution to the winter blues, the sadness we experience in this life, or any hopelessness.

Get moving!

When you are feeling blah and unmotivated, one of the best things you can do for yourself mentally and physically is to get your body moving, whether a 5-minute walk or a 30-minute light workout.

Put pen to paper!

Dig up some paper and your favorite writing utensil. Make a list! Of all the things you are looking forward to or plans you can make. "Research shows that simply anticipating something you like makes you happier, and this is a practical way to put that into action." Planning and sticking to your commitments is key to turning on discipline.

Seek help!

If you feel too down to try any of these exercises, don't hesitate to ask for help. We have all been there in the valley, and it took a helping hand to get back up to the top of the mountain. We are here for you if you are experiencing difficult times, especially in the winter.

While winter is not here yet, it is never too early to prepare. If you know you are prone to experiencing seasonal depression, take action now. Put together your plan now! Together, we can beat these blues!

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