Summers here in Michigan are undeniably breathtaking. From the woods to the lakes, it's easy to see why anyone would want to live here. But, of course, with everything good there comes a yin to your yang... and Michigan winters are rough.

Wintertime. Winter background with thermometer in the snow on frosty day.
Leonid Ikan

While there is no easy way to keep the constant overcast clouds and never-ending snow away, there are some surefire ways you can battle any wintertime blues.

Why do people feel more depressed in the winter in Michigan?

While Seasonal Affective Disorder (or as it's more commonly known, SAD) isn't unique to Michigan, our weather and climate can exacerbate its symptoms.

Unhappy Woman Feeling Cold Wearing Warm Winter Clothes Indoors
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SAD is generally caused by the lack of sunlight we see during the winter months. Your body uses vitamin D to help create serotonin, also known as the happy chemical in your brain. Without that daily dose of summertime sun, you may find yourself feeling a little more bummed out once the sun leaves for the winter.

So now that you know what causes the wintertime blues, try these things to keep yourself happy this year.

1. Take Vitamin D

It seems so simple, but the main thing you're lacking in the winter months is vitamin D from the sun. So do the obvious thing: replace it.

While your regular multivitamin may have vitamin D, taking an additional supplement could help. (*Always check with your doctor before modifying your diet, this is just a suggestion.)

2. Buy a UV "Happy Light"

You can buy UV lights that allow you to artificially re-create the sun.

Sitting with one of these lights a few times a week has been shown to significantly improve people's moods. Everyone I know that has one of these really loves it, so while they're a little expensive, consider it an investment in your mental health well-being.

3. Treat Yourself!

Sometimes you just need to do something to cheer yourself up when winter gets you down.

Last Shipment Of Hostess Twinkies Arrives In Chicago Area Stores
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That doesn't mean a massive shopping spree, but even going out of the way for an extra coffee or treat can really boost a bad mood.

4. Get out of the house when you can

It's so easy to say "it's snowing, I'll stay home"

Detroit Deals With Heavy Snow And Bitter Cold
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But, just like treating yourself, it's good for your mental health to get out and see new spaces. Walk around the mall, take a trip down the road, whatever that is for you, it's important to get out. Additionally, keeping your space clean is important because a cluttered space could cause a cluttered mind.

5. Keep in touch with family and friends

Don't be afraid to pick up that phone and reach out to others.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Sometimes spending time talking to people you love can help improve your mood. Plus, by checking in with them you may be also helping cheer them up, which is a double win. Even a simple 'hello' can make a big difference.

So good luck, and don't forget to take care of your mental health just like you take care of your dry skin this winter.

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