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Got the winter blues?

Nancy Carper gives some suggestions on how to beat them

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 4:05 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 4:37 p.m. CST

WYANET — With more snow this past weekend, spring doesn’t seem any closer.

The snow is piled up; temperatures are still dipping below zero; and the common winter blues are beginning to set in for some people.

Licensed clinical professional counselor Nancy Carper, whose office is located in downtown Wyanet, said it’s common around this time of year to feel down about the weather.

The holidays have quieted down; social activities might have come to a halt; there is less sunlight outside; and the cold weather makes it difficult to get outside for exercise and to catch some fresh air.

Luckily, there there are some things to try to shake off that blue feeling.

Carper gave her top ideas to try:

1. Get creative with exercise

Chances are people are putting off their outdoor exercise routine. If so, Carper said when it’s too snowy and cold for exercising outside, be creative and try adapting the exercise routine indoors. Utilize the staircase more; try different stretches; do a yoga routine; or get the cardio in with push-ups and jumping jacks.

2. Be productive

Tackle the tasks that keep getting pushed aside. Try cleaning out a closet, or sort out a junk drawer. It’s a win-win situation; the tasks are being accomplished, and the mind is being taken off of whatever is going on outside.

3. Phone a friend

Carper said cabin fever can make people have a sense of feeling isolated from others.

“It reminds us we’re missing out on contact with a larger support group,” she said. “Being inside so much, we lose touch with people.”

To get out of the funk, Carper encourages people to phone a friend they haven’t talked to in a while or call and catch up with a relative. Staying in touch with others helps remind people they are not alone and not the only ones feeling isolated.

4. Play around with new recipes

With new year resolutions still hanging in the air, people are still searching for ways to eat heather. Play with the recipe book a bit, or look up new healthy recipes the whole family would enjoy. It’s a win-win situation; it’s keeps people active and promotes healthy eating.

5. Relax, enjoy a hobby or start a new one

When stuck inside, people can pickup that book they’ve been wanting to read, or get out that old board game and get the whole family involved. Or get on the Internet and start research a new hobby or interest that’s been on the mind.

6. Start thinking forward

According to Carper, this is the perfect time to begin thinking ahead. Sit down and make a list of home improvement projects that could be done in the spring or think about outdoor landscaping ideas to tryout this summer.

“It brings up memories of nicer times, and it helps us start to feel better and make things a little more hopeful,” she said.

It’s also the time when people can start thinking about what to do with the income tax return check that will be coming in the mail.

“Whether it’s to pay off bills, plan a vacation or help with those home improvements, It get us in the mode of forward thinking,” she said.

7. Start a project

A fun project to look into is getting out the photo albums and going through old pictures. It can spark a trip down memory lane and get the mind off of the weather.

It’s a good time to organize photos, put photos in albums or transfer photos to new albums.

8. Embrace the snow

Carper said another thing to remember is we live in a place where we have winters.

“We need to embrace that idea,” she said. “If the temperature gets to be around 20 degrees, there is not a thing wrong with going out and taking a walk in the snow.”

There’s also a lot of snow-related sports to try out — skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, snowboarding or sledding.

Take a camera or a pair of binoculars, and see what’s out there.

“We have to remind ourselves the winter is temporary. Try thinking about the positives. We live in a farming area and have to appreciate all the snow that will create more moisture for our farmers and their crops,” she said.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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