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How to Stay Happy Through the Last Gasp of Winter

It's no secret among those who are close to me, that I love the holidays. There is just something that is so warm and congenial about Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as the time leading up to them. I love decorating, I love eating, I love shopping for presents, and I love spending a lot of quality time surrounded by the people whom I love the most. Therefore, it's really no surprise that January and February leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion. They're comparable to the day after a really, really fun party. However, these last winter months don't have to be all grey and gloom... It's all about embracing the positives! With that in mnd, here are a few ways to keep your spirits high until spring: 

#1: Practice the art of gratitude. 

Research over time has indicated that being thankful can positively affect your overall health, most notably in it's ability to reduce levels of stress through a reduction in the hormone cortisol. And, these lowered levels of stress can lead to an improved mood. Practice the art of gratitude by setting aside a few minutes at the end of each day to quietly reflect on those aspects of your life for which you are thankful (family, friends, your job, your home, your pet(s), etc.). 

#2: Embrace the seasonal fun. 

While the holidays remain only a sweet memory at this point, there is still plenty of fun to be had during these last couple of winter months. Do your best to embrace the activities that will only be accessible for the next couple of months. Build snowmen. Go ice skating. Take a road trip up to the mountains (don't forget your skis!). Drink hot beverages by the fire. Play hooky from work and indulge in your favorite Netflix series. Make good use of your slow cooker and enjoy plenty of hearty stews and soups. Believe me, come August, you'll be missing these weather-permitting activities!

#3: Be social. 

While by nature humans are social creatures, the winter months often bring with them the desire to hibernate. However, in order to keep your mood in check, it's important to socialize with family and friends on a regular basis. A few times during each week, set up some time to grab coffee with a friend, invite a group of people over for wine and board games, or grab a buddy and brave the weather for a brisk walk.  


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