Cool temperatures and short daylight hours can lead to depressed moods. Beat the winter blues while looking forward to spring with these 4 mood-boosting tips.

Exercise.
Improve your physique while boosting your mood through regular exercise. A walk, bike ride or workout will increase your heartrate and release endorphins to reduce stress and ease anxiety. Plus, exercise can help you feel more energized throughout the day and sleep better at night. Along with the psychological benefits of exercise, planning a workout with a friend can boost socialization and improve overall self-image.

Get enough sleep.
Sleep is closely related to both mental and physical health. Deprivation of your body’s natural reset has been shown to cause anxiety, depression and memory impairment. Ensure you are not in a sleep deficit by assessing your level of performance throughout the day, then set a regular bedtime routine to correct any negative patterns. Experts also recommend limiting screen time and caffeine intake for higher-quality rest.

Go outside.
Take a walk on your break or spend time outside on the weekends. Sunlight triggers the release of mood-boosting hormones that can combat seasonal depression disorders. Spending even 15 minutes outside during lunch can reset an anxious or stressed mindset. If cool weather is keeping your indoors, try artificial light therapy. Exposure to UV-safe indoor sources that mimic natural light has been shown to increase energy and improve overall mental health.

Eat healthy.
A balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins can aid both physical and mental health. Limit excess sodium, added sugar and saturated fats while enjoying a mix treats in moderation. Monitor your intake of processed foods by trying to recreate your fast-food favorites at home. Along with proper nutrition, ensure you are drinking enough water, as dehydration has been known to cause tiredness and headaches.

Spring is only a few short weeks away. Get through the winter blues with an exercise routine, adequate sleep, outside time and proper nutrition.