How to Combat the Winter Blues

A psychologist offers tips on how to cope with those dreaded winter blues.

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CLEVELAND – With the lack of sunshine, constant cold weather and just spending more time indoors – it’s easy for many of us to experience those dreaded winter blues.

“This is very normal for a lot of people. I speak for myself, in the winter time it’s just a lot harder,” said Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “It’s dark when you get up. It’s dark when you leave work. So you have less sunlight and that sunlight really does give you a lot of energy.”

Dr. Prewitt said winter blues often include feelings of sadness, lacking energy or motivation and changes in your sleeping habits.

For example, you may find yourself sleeping for longer than usual.

There are ways to help cope with these symptoms

Dr. Prewitt said self-care is very important, like getting enough sleep, eating healthy and working out.

She also suggests keeping a consistent schedule and staying connected socially with friends and family.

Light therapy lamps can be effective too. They are designed to simulate sun light and can in turn boost a person’s mood.

Another idea is to update your home or office surroundings.

“You could add a different color paint to the wall or a fragrance that you really like, maybe add some pictures. But really just giving you something that when you look at it you smile or maybe experience a sense of calm,” said Dr. Prewitt.

If you notice your symptoms aren’t going away with time or are starting to get worse, you should consult with your physician or a mental health professional.

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