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The Dog Days of Winter - 5 Ways to Combat SAD

You’ve probably heard of the Dog Days of Summer- these tend to be the hottest and most unbearable days during the summer months.

Right now for many of us in cold weather states, we have the Dog Days of Winter = Shorter, darker days + less sunlight + less time outdoors.

Some people report feelings of seasonal depression or SAD. SAD is often associated with mood and energy level drops, feelings of sadness, loss of interest in usual activities, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues " that you have to power through solo.

Whether you are affected by SAD or just want to take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year ...

Here are 5 things to try:

1. Get Light:

Your body's circadian rhythm responds to light as a signal to be awake. Try to get bright light shortly after waking to increase alertness throughout the day.

2. Commit to a RAKE:

Perform a R.A.K.E - Random Act of Kindness Every day

Pay for someone’s coffee, go out of your way to help someone, bake your favorite snack and bring it into the office, compliment a total stranger, leave an overly generous tip, and make someone feel seen or heard.

All of these out of kindness without expecting anything in return.

Making someone’s day often makes us feel like total rock stars.

3. Move Your Body:

Your body craves movement. We are not meant to sit and stare at screens all day. Regular physical activity will boost your energy level, productivity, and overall well-being.

4. Eat More Whole Foods:

Food quality affects brain health. Eat more whole foods - if it grew or walked on the earth... fair game. Pick up snacks with ingredients you can pronounce and seek to nourish your body with more nutrient-dense foods rather than sugary, packaged, processed crap.

5. Connect with Friends and Family:

Even when you feel drained, know that you can always lean on your tribe. Embrace social connections - whether it's an in-person interaction or a quick Facetime - the conversation, smiles, and laughter will make you feel great after.

Don't Tough out the Dog Days of Winter Alone.

Take steps starting with implementing small lifestyle changes. And remember... you've survived all of your worst days. As my Grandma always used to remind me when I was feeling down... “This too shall pass”.



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