Hold onto your hats it is cold outside!!! What a cold and dreary winter we are having. It can be hard to stay positive during the winter months. The weather can keep us inside, and the darkness can really start to mess with our emotions. The winter blues are real and they can cause us to feel depressed, irritable, and have trouble waking up in the mornings and trouble staying awake in the evening. If you are feeling these symptoms rest assured that there are things that you can do to help improve your mood. Simple things like making your environment brighter. Open up your curtains, let the light shine through your blinds. Be brave and add some extra lights to the room, paint your room bright colors, and bring out the bright colored towels and clothing you have been storing until summer. Other ways to help create personal change are exercising, and eating healthy. You can never go wrong with these two activities on your side. Take the time to plan quick, fun getaways and day trips. Remember though if these things do not seem to be working and you are still struggling with feelings of depression, lack of energy, or irritability it may be time to see your doctor. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real and according to a recent blog in Psychology Today by The Seleni Institute it affects an estimated five percent of our population. (Jan. 24, 17) There is no need to suffer in silence with SAD. There are treatments that have been proven to help. If you have questions about SAD or any other form of depression please contact you family doctor or a mental health professional. You are worth taking care of. Until next time my friend have a blessed day.