“Feel the power of the light when skies are gray.”

“Feel the power of the light when skies are gray.”Bill Chesnut, MD

Cleveland Clinic Wellness, January 17, 2016

Shine on! If winter is getting you down, try these surefire mood boosters.
There’s nothing like the sunshine, warmth and ease of summer. But that doesn’t mean winter has to be the opposite. While you can’t wiggle your nose like Samantha on Bewitched to change the season, you can cultivate internal sunshine. Light — lots of it — is the best medicine for the winter blues. Open your blinds, get outside for walks even on cold days, and consider investing in a therapeutic light box. “Light therapy is the most successful intervention I’ve witnessed,” says Cleveland Clinic psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD. Seek out a light that supplies at least 10,000 lux, and plan to bask in it for half an hour every day, ideally in the morning (by 8 a.m.). Then, plan to stick with it all winter, says Bea. Be sure to get regular cardio exercise, too — 35 minutes a day has been shown to ease depression — and plan frequent outings with close friends and family. When you do end up stuck inside, let the music play: Upbeat music — not gloomy tunes — can be veritable mood magic.