Don’t let the cold bitter months of winter get your family down! It’s been scientifically proven that cold temperatures and lack of natural sunlight during the winter months have the potential to cause depression, fatigue, mood changes, and even food cravings ( Not this year!

Follow these 3 easy steps to help your family fight the winter blues:

1. Take advantage of every opportunity for physical activity 
Whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing sit-up competitions during commercial breaks, or dancing around the house, keeping your body in motion is essential for having a positive mood. Brainstorm ideas for fun, indoor physical activities that the whole family can enjoy!

2. Create a calendar or list of fun, indoor activities available in your community
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had! Check out your communities website for information on family activities throughout your area then compile a list and hang it in a visible location. Being reminded that there ARE fun things to do during the winter time is an important part of maintaining motivation.

3. Get creative with your food choices
Yes, we all know that winter time is reserved for those delicious, warm, comforting meals. Unfortunately those meals tend to include high fat and calorie content which tends to make us feel worse in the long-run. Why? Well, weight gain for one. Plus, consuming fatty food has been proven to affect overall mood. According to  fatty foods are not only linked to depression and dementia, they also take longer to digest which causes that sluggish, lathargic feeling that we all know so well. So instead of feasting on leftover chocolate pie and stuffing, get creative with your ingredients and create a healthy alternative!

Give these 3 simple steps a try and see how much more enjoyable the winter season can be!

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.