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Beating the Winter Blues!

By: Jeff Dunlap, Coordinator of Youth Services

As we all know, it is winter. The days are still short, the weather is cold, and we are lucky if we see the sun more than a few minutes a day. During this time of year, it is very common to experience the 'Winter Blues' and feel things such as fatigue, irritability, depression, hopelessness and other negative emotions. The list below will help you combat those feelings!

  • You're not the only one.
    • Remember that it is normal to experience what you are feeling, especially this time of year.
  • Watch what you eat.
    • Though heavy "comfort foods" are also good this time of year to lift spirits and stay warm, remember to make sure you are eating fruits, vegetables, and other healthy necessities.
  • Steer clear of alcohol and drugs.
    • Though these substances may seem to make you feel better at that time, they really only make you feel worse afterwards… especially when it comes to anxious or depressive feelings.
  • Sunlight will help
    • The sun is vital in helping us feel good in the winter time. It has vitamin D which helps with mood and just naturally lifts spirits. It is important to let the sun hit your skin for at least 20 minutes when possible (and when it's not too cold!). If direct sun exposure is not medically appropriate, you can get Vitamin D from food sources and supplements. In addition, there are special spectral light bulbs you can buy which can also have similar effects, if sunlight is lacking.
  • Surround yourself with healthy things you enjoy.
    • This could be people, pets, music, hobbies, foods, and many other things that may help with your mood.
  • Talk to someone if you need to.
    • This can be family, friends, a partner, pets, a professional, a caregiver, a religious or spiritual figure, a coworker and many others. Even a diary or journal can help!
  • Try some new winter activities or give some old ones a new chance.
    • It is easy in the winter time to sit inside where it is warmer but trying out winter activities may spark an interest you didn't know you had, are healthy and active, and may lift your spirits.
  • Stay Active
    • Exercise of any kind is good for you, especially during these colder months. Join a gym, take a brisk and refreshing walk, give your residence a nice cleaning, or play with pets. There are many creative ways to get some exercise!

So there you have it, a good list of tools for you to use to get through these few tougher months. Get creative and see what else you can come up with!

 

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The Council's Mission

The Council offers hope and recovery to people struggling with addictive behaviors and strengthens our community through prevention and education programs.

The Council's Core Values

HOPE -   Our attitude, relationships and skills project the belief that positive change can occur and goals can be achieved.

CARING & COMPASSION -  We understand that those we serve have needs for caring and compassion as they do the hard work of addressing their addiction. We communicate this from our initial welcoming message and continue throughout their stay. Our staff has similar needs, and to be effective, we need to encourage a culture of caring and compassion for each other.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE -  Our services reflect a thorough understanding of the strengths and needs of those we serve and offer a range of high quality, evidence-based practices in the field of addiction. We continuously improve our services through assessing our outcomes, our wise use of resources, responding to changing community needs and supporting the development of our staff.

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