How to Fight the Winter Blues

By Daniel Shedd |

Published 02/11 2014 09:48PM

Updated 02/11 2014 10:13PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The winter isn't keeping Mary Hall from getting outside and feeding the geese at Sequiota Park.

"It's good therapy just to get out and enjoy the outdoors and just appreciate life," she said.

The temps are still below freezing, but at least the sun is shining.

"My dog Dexter likes to come out and walk so it's just good therapy all the way around," she said.

Photographer Rick Adair is also spending the day outdoors, grabbing some pictures and fighting the wintertime blues.

"The first week of November every year it seems like I get kind of down," he said, "I have to keep getting outside so I don't get kind of the blahs."

Winter sadness is especially bad this year.

The severe weather hasn't let up since November.

"It takes a toll with these long winters when people can't get outside can't get sunlight," Rehabilitation Psychologist at Mercy Tessa Coltrin said.

Dr. Coltrin said there are several reasons we might be feeling down.

"Anyone is going to be feeling a little more sluggish anyway, but there's also these other life circumstances that happen during the wintertime so there are more stressors more financial burdens," she said.

People start staying inside, eating more, and falling out of their routines.

"Then from a medical perspective it affects their Vitamin D levels which makes a person feel low or depressed," she said.

Luckily, Coltrin said the fix can be simple.

She said to take advantage of the days when there is sunshine grab those shades and head outside.

Like runner Sharon Nellessen, who's visiting the Ozarks this week.

"It looks so pretty it's a great day to run," she said.

She believes the cure for winter blues might be a dash of sunshine, pinch of exercise, and a little dose of perspective.

"We have like negatives in Wisconsin so this is perfect," she said.

Dr. Coltrin said most people shake the winter blues when the weather gets warmer.

But if a person is prone to depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder could require treatment.

She said definitely contact your doctor if you're in doubt.

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