Bone-chilling temps. Shorter, darker days. Snowstorms and black ice. It’s no wonder many New Englanders suffer from the “winter blues” this time of year.

According to Psychology Today, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects an estimated 10 million Americans, and its symptoms can include a general feeling of being “off” or “down in the dumps” but can extend in severity to include feelings of hopelessness, insomnia or hypersomnia, fatigue, irritability, and avoidance of social situations.

For your life, and your job or job search, SAD can have very serious consequences, and it’s important to see your Doctor right away if you’re feeling too down. If you’re simply over winter already – and longing for spring, we at Masiello Employment have rounded up 5 steps to avoid SAD-ness:

  1. Let There Be Light. Take advantage of any opportunities you have to bask in natural sunlight—sit near a window during your lunch break, for example. If that doesn’t cut it, consider investing in a Light Box and use it every morning at the breakfast table to gear up for your day. Sunlight activates Vitamin D which is imperative to your mood and well being.
  1. Think D. Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” so you might not get enough of it during the winter months in New England. And in general, you need sunlight to activate it’s benefits. Have your D levels tested and, if needed, take a daily supplement as recommended by your Doctor.
  1. Exercise Outside. Someone (we can’t remember who) once said that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Head outside every day, no matter the weather, for fresh air and exercise. Wear lots of layers if you need to. The point is to clear your mind and move your body—those two things, working in collaboration, remove mental cobwebs and foster positive feelings.
  1. Eat Wisely. It’s always smart to be thoughtful about what you’re eating, especially this time of year. Trying to feel better by eating an entire sleeve of cookies isn’t going to lift anything except your BMI. Instead, eat good-for-you, mood-elevating foods like complex carbs—perhaps steel-cut oatmeal with a banana for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch, and chicken with pasta for dinner.
  1. Have Fun. The worst thing you can do is stay home and hope a good time will find you—it’s just not going to knock on your door. Find your own fun by planning things you enjoy like a dinner with friends, ice fishing, or a ski trip. shares 7 Activities to Try During Winter in the Monadnock Region, including seeing a show at Keene’s Colonial Theatre and taking a stroll around the Hanna Grimes Marketplace (check out the entire list for a season’s worth of fun).

When you’re ready to be happy in a new job, give Masiello Employment a call; our recruiting team is available for a free consultation.