Beat the winter blues

January 24, 2012 —

Woman trail running in winterTruth be told, we’ve actually had a rather mild winter here in Iowa this year, but within the last week it has started to look a little more familiar. With more snow in the forecast and lower temps ahead, some of you may start to feel the effects of the winter blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Here are some ways to keep the dark days of winter from dragging you down:

Let there be light! Getting exposure to sunlight can be a powerful way to boost your mood.

Reach out. Maintain connections with family and friends. A little love and companionship can help sustain you.

Buy some bulbs. When you can’t get any outdoor light, a high-intensity indoor light fixture can help.

Get moving! Hit the gym and exercise. Doing so in the winter can provide a powerful lift to your mood and your energy.

Eat for energy. Combine lean protein and complex carbohydrates in your meals. Limit your consumption of alcohol, sugar, and high-fat foods, all of which may temporarily lift your mood but then leave you feeling tired soon after.

Change your thoughts. Learning to think less negatively will help improve your mood.

Reach in. Prayer, meditation, inspirational reading can provide a little relief during the dark days of winter.


With a deep love for her hometown, Nicole Branstad is pro-Des Moines and is constantly touting its many events and attractions. When she isn’t out exploring the city she likes to spend time with her husband Marcus and their son Everett. She enjoys hosting lavish dinner parties, collecting wine and buying fresh flowers at the downtown farmer’s market. Nicole works in the marketing & communications department as the online marketing-enrollment coordinator.

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