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Get Happy Now!

Feel like hibernating? You're not alone. "Winter's fewer daylight hours produces a hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalance that causes many people to experience changes in mood and behavior -- even depression," says Michael Finkelstein, M.D., an integrative-medicine specialist in Bedford, New York. If you're feeling down, these easy fixes can help improve your mood:

Take a break. "Winter is nature's way of telling us to slow down, so try not to fight or resist it," says Dr. Finkelstein. Don't feel obligated to accept every playdate invitation. Also, make some "me" time -- read a magazine, catch up with your DVR, or enjoy a meal with family and friends.

Get outdoors. Studies have shown that light therapy can be beneficial to people suffering from the winter blues. Increased exposure to light can help rebalance hormones. While some may opt to buy an artificial light box, "natural light is best, even if it's overcast," says Dr. Finkelstein, so get outside and enjoy the (free) sunlight as much as possible.

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