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How to Stay Sober and Beat the Winter Blues

If your mood steadily declines during the colder, darker winter months, you are not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a recognized problem around the world, and countries that have fewer average hours of daylight often have higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse. The good news is that you can beat the winter blues without the crutch of drugs and/or alcohol with these simple, time-honored tips. Let in the Light Have you ever noticed that your outlook improves when the sky is sunny and blue? You are not imagining things; sunlight is a proven mood elevator. Keep your mood lighter by taking brisk walks outside, keeping your drapes and blinds open, and placing comfortable chairs and tables near windows. You can also purchase a special lamp that produces light that mimics the rays of the sun — meaning you can get the mood boost on even the snowiest, grayest winter days. Break a Sweat Exercise is another proven mood booster. If going outside is out of the question, you can still raise your heart rate indoors. Join a gym, purchase a treadmill or other home exercise equipment, or perform simple calisthenics — the important thing is to get your blood pumping enough to release mood-boosting endorphins. Jumping jacks and jumping rope, climbing the stairs, lunges, squats, pushups, and other equipment-free moves all help. For more ideas, visit the American Council on Exercise online library of workouts. Listen Up Feeling the winter blues increases the risk of relapse, but it is also a great time to put into practice the recovery techniques learned at the holistic drug and alcohol rehab at The Ranch PA. Put on your favorite music, or call an understanding friend. The key is to distract yourself from thinking about using. If more intensive help is necessary, the staff at our holistic alcohol and drug rehab center is available to assist you with any Aftercare needs to help you stay committed to your recovery. Finding Alternatives to Self-Destructive Behavior Keeping your mind off using drugs and/or alcohol, especially during the shorter, colder days of winter, means embracing the distraction techniques learned at The Ranch PA. From eating energizing foods to heading out with a friend to see a movie to moving your treadmill next to a sunny window, little things really do make a difference. Don’t forget that the caring, experienced staff at The Ranch PA is here to help you stay strong during difficult times — so call us if the winter blues progress to something more serious. (Photo via)

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