How to beat the "Winter Blues"

In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and the reality of Christmas spending and eating is setting in. Winter is in full force. Over the next few weeks, some may begin to feel “blue” or experience something called “SAD” or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to boost your mood and motivation, even on the darkest coldest days.

Get moving

Here’s another reason to get fit! Exercise is known to release your “happy” hormones. Don’t let the cold weather be an excuse not to sweat. Challenge yourself. Set a goal and give yourself something to focus on during the cold months. Even though it’s chilly out, try some outdoor activities, join a gym or do some yoga at home. Just get moving.

Eat smarter

Eat small, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Include plenty of fresh produce and foods packed with protein, which will keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. Avoid sugary foods and simply carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Whole grain bread, brown rice, fruits and veggies are better choices!

Brighten up

Even if it’s cold outside, get outside and expose yourself to the sun. Soaking in the natural daylight will help boost your mood. Your body craves more daylight in the winter, so open the blinds at home to let the natural light in.

Stock up on Vitamin D

Since we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, try taking a vitamin D supplement during the winter. Incorporate foods that are high in Vitamin D like Salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt and eggs.


Connecting with friends and family is an important way to keep a positive outlook. When you’re feeling down, you may want to isolate yourself from others. But spending time with friends and family is a great way to lighten your mood.

Focus on the good

I’m not a big fan of winter but it doesn’t have to be all that bad. Try to find things you enjoy this time of year like skiing or skating. I tried snowmobiling for the very first time last weekend and can’t wait to go again!


If following these tips doesn’t help lift your mood, reach out to your family doctor. The cold weather may have us wishing for spring but winter can be a happy season too! 

What other suggestions do you have to get you though winter? Share it with us! 

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