The groundhog saw his shadow last week, which means we won’t be experiencing an early spring this year.

Around this time of year, every year, I start to feel some of the effects of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I miss being outside and I’m getting tired of bundling up in winter clothes every single day. The holidays are over so I’m ready for winter to end. And I know that we still have at least 3 more months ahead of us before temperatures start to rise.

If you suffer from SAD, you’re not alone. I’m here to tell you that you’re going to be okay. Here’s a list of tips that may help brighten your mood and kick your winter blues to the curb.

Get your blood flowing.

When we exercise, our body releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that help you feel good! It can be hard to start a new exercise regimen, but even 20 minutes of exercise can help you feel better. Try out a yoga class to get the added bonus of being around a community of people with similar interests! No yoga classes near you? Check out YogaGlo.com for online classes.

Eat Smarter, Feel Better.

I love comfort food just as much as the next person. But I know if I constantly splurge on Pizza and Mac ‘n Cheese that I’ll end up feeling heavier, more bloated and more lethargic. All of that leads to me feeling a little worse about myself.

Eating well-balanced meals will give you the nutrients to help you feel better and can increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that help make you feel good!

Eat whole foods found in your area that includes fruits, veggies, lean proteins (especially salmon), and whole grains. Eat to feel good about yourself, not to feel better.

***Bonus: if it sounds hard to cook for yourself all the time, team up with a friend. You can cook dinner for each other and eat together. Getting out of the house and socializing can help your mood!

Join a New Community

As much as you feel like hibernating this winter, going out with family and friends will help lift your spirits on even the darkest days. Keep your social calendar full.

If you’re looking for more friends, join a new community. Try out some yoga classes, look on Meet-Up for groups with similar interests, experiment with a new hobby like cooking or vegetarian eating and invite friends over to eat. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will help you learn more about yourself, grow your network and feel supported throughout the winter months.

Create a New Ritual

Whether you treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink every Monday, go to a yoga class on the weekends or travel out of town every weekend, creating a special ritual will give you something to look forward to during these dreary months.

Your new ritual doesn’t have to be expensive. Perhaps you’d like to buy yourself flowers every Friday or treat yourself to a fancy home-cooked meal every Sunday night. Whatever your ritual, make it special and something that you can look forward to every week.