As Ned Stark would say, "Winter is coming." And I'm not talking about the white walkers GoT fans, I'm talking about actual cold, miserable Winter.

12 Ways to Chase Away the Cold Weather Blues and Find Joy

For those that work a '9 to 5' job, it can be really depressing that it will soon be dark when you head home from work. Sun deprivation is real. Sunshine boosts our mood, that is a proven fact. But don't let this weather get you down! There are other ways to find joy in your day. And here are 12.

  1. Surround yourself with light. All kinds. Keep your window coverings open, sit close to them, get outside when the sun is out, or even go tanning once a week.
  2. Exercise. Get to the gym. This will significantly improve your mental health. And you might lose a few pounds.
  3. Take a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny to break up Winter a little bit. Punts Canta is calling my name in February.
  4. Help others. Do something for your community. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or help out at your kids school. This is proven to make you feel better.
  5. Listen to your favorite music on 97ZOK. Listening to upbeat, happy music will definitely lift your spirits.
  6. Eat healthier. Foods like healthy grains, greens, bananas, nuts, and chocolate (yes chocolate) can stimulate your body to make more serotonin, therefore improving your mood.
  7. Take Vitamin D. Our bodies need this and don't get nearly enough of it in the Winter since our main source is the sun. It is a big contributor to emotional stability.
  8. Drink tea not coffee (I'm cringing as I write this). While coffee will temporarily increase your mood, it will also cause you to crash at some point. Tea has lots of health benefits and can actually help calm you down.
  9. Go to bed on time. Learn your body and how much sleep you need and make sure you get that. For most people this is 7-9 hours. Sleep is a huge factor in feeling good throughout the day.
  10. Smile. It's so easy. This actually activates the happy center in your brain. On top of that, this simple gesture of kindness could improve someone else's day.
  11. Make sure you get in your 'friend time'. For busy adults, especially parents, this can be hard to do. Having close interpersonal relationships is a crucial factor in being happy.
  12. Put things into perspective. We all tend to get lost in our problems and focus on the negative. It's so easy to do. Life can be hard. But try NOT do this. Be conscious of your thoughts. Instead, focus on the positive. What is going right today? What do you have to look forward to this weekend? What can you do to make someone else's day better today?

So let's all try to be a little happier this Winter. Find the JOY in every day. Because it's always there. Sometimes you may just have to search a little harder to find it.

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