This past Saturday was the shortest day of the year. While winter is a beautiful season, and Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is very real, when it's dark longer than it is light day-in and day-out. I feel like I've done alright with the winter so far, especially because December's weather has been so mild. But the "winter blues" hit me hard this weekend.

I shopped a lot on "Super Saturday" and found some great Christmas presents for my pets, got my nails done, cooked, cleaned, and caught up on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Saturday was awesome. Then, on Sunday, the blues came in like a wrecking ball (thanks, Miley Cyrus). My fun, productive weekend went sour in a hurry.

I'm never like this during the other three seasons, but this "bummed out" feeling seems to hit me every winter, and I'm never prepared for it. Now, I'm retroactively trying to get rid of this funk. Here are some tips/tricks I've found to help lose the SAD, and become glad again:

  1. Let the Light In - In North Dakota, it can be difficult to get enough light during the winter months. Whether you hit up the tanning bed to "catch some (artificial) rays" or use a light box, or something else, that light can help boost your mood when you feel down.
  2. Get Active - This one is tough for me, because I don't like to workout, but it's suggested that even 30 minutes of exercise per day can bring some relief.
  3. Surround yourself with Friends and Loved Ones - It's always good to have a supportive network of people. You could join a group or even just grab a cup of coffee with a friend. Interaction with others can always boot your mood.
  4. Plan a Trip - Whether you plan a quick road trip or you want to hop on a plane to somewhere tropical, looking forward to a getaway is something positive to focus on.
  5. Listen to Upbeat Music - So simple, yet so effective. I have a "Party Jams" playlist with all my favorite girls - Lizzo, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Camila Cabello - and I instantly feel like a queen listening to that. Music can be so uplifting and fun when your spirits are down.

If you're feeling down this winter, believe me, you're not alone. It can be hard living in The Great White North during the winter months. I hope you can find happiness and joy throughout the winter.