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If you live in the Northeast, the winter weather has been anything but your friend. The snow, ice and cold temperatures are enough to make anyone want to stay snuggled in bed — but don’t. Too much time lying sedentary will alter your body chemistry and depression might set in, which will only make your winter bah-humbugs even worse.

Follow these eight steps to get moving:

1.  Exercise. The first thing you can do to shake off those winter blues is to exercise. Physical activity boosts serotonin levels in your body which helps to fend off depression. If it’s not too cold, go outside and take a good, long power walk.

2. Get Into the Light. Both natural and artificial sunlight have great benefits, so open the blinds and let those rays (what few there may be) in. If it’s an overcast day, turn on some lights inside the house instead.

3. Increase your social interaction. It’s easy to stay indoors when it gets cold or bad weather make transportation difficult. But getting together with friends and family, even if it means setting up a play date for your kids just so you can mingle with other moms, being social is a huge, mood-changing exercise no matter what time of year it is.

4. Make changes to your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and laying off of the caffeine and carbs will increase your mood and help in fending off winter weight gain.

5. Redecorate. I am sure there is a corner of the house that you have wanted to do something different with, no? Since the polar vortex likely already has you house-bound, make the most of it by changing your scenery. And moving the couch from here to there or hanging new wallpaper will also get you more of our #1 step — no gym membership necessary.

6. Read that book you never got through. You would be amazed by how much time flies when you’re engrossed in  a page turner. And, with the onslaught of e-books and Kindle bestsellers today, the options really are endless.

7. Reconnect with your family or roommates. No moms available for that play date? Have one with your spouse or housemate instead. A good adult game night gives you a chance to spend quality time with those you love most.

8. Finish those Netflix movies sitting on the shelf. Got 378 films in your queue? No better time than January to get through all those documentaries or TV shows you planned on binge watching back in September. You might actually have a conversation piece when you get back to work.

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8 Steps To Beat The Winter Slump  was originally published on