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Westchester Doctors Offer Suggestions For Beating Winter Blues

Dr. Richard Catanzaro, chief of psychiatry at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco.
Dr. Richard Catanzaro, chief of psychiatry at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. Photo Credit: Submitted

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Cold weather got you down?

According to Richard Catanzaro, M.D., chief of psychiatry at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, it's not unusual for people to feel the winter blues in the face of the persistently severe winter weather we've been experiencing.

Here are some suggestions to help you "thaw" out and feel better.

Stay active: Easier said than done in this weather but even a short walk on days that are not dangerously cold or blizzard-like can be helpful.

"Walks serve the dual purpose of getting some cardiovascular exercise and exposure to some much needed sunlight. If you have access to an indoor workout space, do your best to position yourself by a window to see the sunlight," Cantanzaro said.

Nancy Millian , a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in individual psychotherapy with a private practice in Mount Kisco, Danbury, and Southbury, Conn., advises getting out of the house when you can.

"Visit with friends, take up a winter sport, volunteer to help others or join a club," she said.

Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum: Many people tend to drink a bit more during the cold days of winter to "improve" their mood,  to "warm up" or simply out of boredom. In reality, however, drinking will only further worsen one's mood and will tend to interfere with sleep, Cantanzaro said.

Travel: If you know you're someone who tends to feel down in the winter months, a trip someplace warm  -- even for a long weekend -- is very therapeutic.

Still feeling blue? Millian suggests consulting with a mental health professional who uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy, a type of talking therapy, who may be able to advise information on daily light therapy.

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