Actively de-stress yourself
GIve yourself permission to engage in “regular stress management, such as exercising, relaxing, yoga, getting massages, watching movies, listening to music -- whatever activities you find de-stressing,” Dr. Deibler suggests. “This doesn’t mean giving yourself license to engage in excessive alcohol or drug use, however. Although you may find drinking pleasurable and relaxing, alcohol consumption can contribute to depression.” You know it makes sense, even if you know you might overindulge occasionally anyway.
In this way, you get to choose whether or not you’re going to be happy this winter. Not that you should give up booze entirely, unless it's actually a problem for you; just know that it can lead to negative feelings over prolonged use.
Get some sunlight
As tempting as it might be, the Dracula approach probably won't make you feel better during the dark days of winter. “Daylight really does affect our mood,” Dr. Deibler says, which sounds like a perfect excuse to catch a flight south on a depressingly gray January weekend. But if that’s not in the cards, you still have options. “Research has shown that as little as 10-15 minutes of sunlight can contribute to positive mood changes. Making time to be out in the daylight is a helpful thing -- even if you have to get your sunlight in on a lunch break, do it by taking a walk around the office. Those full-spectrum light boxes have also been shown to help.”