If your mood is as cold and bitter as the weather, you are not alone. I think it is safe to say that most of us are fed up with this brutal winter season. Fox 17 declared that Grand Rapids has now seen its second worst winter in history, with a total of 107.6 inches of snowfall (and still no end in sight). Many of us find ourselves sluggish, lethargic, and even depressed from the lack of sunshine and unpleasant temperatures. The daunting chore of scraping the car and waiting for the heat to kick in has many people running for the hills (or Florida). But, for those of us who must face this wicked weather head-on, here are five tips to beat the winter blues.

1. Get Moving

Yes, this is probably the most difficult of the tips, but in my opinion the most effective. Getting our blood pumping and releasing endorphins will enlighten our mood. Not to mention, put us on track towards bathing suit season (extra bonus). Attempt a yoga class at the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse, search for at-home exercises on Pinterest, or try a local fitness consultant.

2. Treat Yourself

This does not need to be counterproductive to your new exercise routine. Treat yourself to something special, but not necessarily a box of donuts. Try getting a back massage, starting your day with a hot latte, or taking a bubble bath. Make it a priority to occasionally indulge yourself, and your icy mood will surely thaw.

3. Relax

One of the wonderful things about cold weather is the excuse to stay indoors and relax. This can be defined somewhat differently by everyone, so find what brings you peace of mind. Read a good book, watch an inspiring movie, or simply wrap yourself in a warm blanket. Considering the nightfall approaches ever-so-quickly, use it to your advantage and go to bed earlier for a lengthy night of sleep. Night owl? Try step number 4. Snowy GR

4. Get Social

Our extroverted friends itch to venture out, despite the howling winds and snowy terrain. Have a night out to celebrate that one day it will most definitely be warm again. Or declare the middle of the week an impromptu happy hour with coworkers. You can also attend one of the many monthly networking events held in Grand Rapids (check the GRAPE Events Page for details). Even small-talk with acquaintances regarding the weather will help to realize, we are not in this alone.

5. Embrace It

When all else fails, surrender to the winter weather and attempt to see its beauty. Be at ease knowing that Spring must naturally occur at some point in the near future. Attitude is everything, and if ours is mimicking the glacier temperatures, we may be in trouble. Be present in every moment and appreciate life for what it is, albeit freezing.