7 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues Before They Start

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As the days get darker and the nights get colder, even the snow lovers among us can start to get a little down. The “winter blues” are far more common than many of us realize, and they have the power to sap our motivation, lower our energy and, frankly, turn us into totally different people.

But even though seasonal change is inevitable, our mood doesn’t have to be! Why not use winter as an opportunity to practice a little self-love? Here are 7 perfect ways to inject some happiness into your routine, even when the weather’s got you down.

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7) Stay busy.

Don’t let cabin fever creep in this year! Winter is the perfect time to experiment with a new hobby or dive into the scrapbooking project you’ve had on the back burner. Keeping your mind occupied and your creative juices flowing is great for your mood, and nothing compares to the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a long-overdue project. Even better, at-home projects will help you safe from the ever-incing Netflix black hole.

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6) Nourish yourself.

Eating healthy is important every day of the year, but especially when your energy stores are low. Start seeing mealtimes as opportunities to both comfort and nourish yourself with healthy, nutrient-dense meals. Consider cooking big batches of hearty (and healthy!) food, like this yummy pot roast or this mushroom-stuffed butternut squash. That way you’ll have microwave-ready meals at your fingertips, which will help you avoid falling into less-than-healthy snacking habits.

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5) Keep comfy.

Don’t discount the power of comfortable clothes. Release the stress of a long, cold day by snuggling up in a fuzzy bath robe or warming your feet in the perfect pair of slippers. Keeping your “comfy wardrobe” well stocked will give you give you something to look forward to when you get home from work, and can even set you up for a good night’s sleep.

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G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.