According to the American Association of Family Physicians, around 4-6 % of Americans are affected with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD causes individuals to feel more depressed during the winter months when it's colder and there is less sunlight. Some people just call this the "winter blues" but in any case, winter calls for us to take special care with our emotional health.

Self-care is vitally important all year long, but with winter in full swing, here are some ideas of how to show your body and mind that you care despite the cloudy, cold weather outside. None of these things are going to instantly cure you, but they might help you feel a bit better until the sun comes out again!

1. Light a candle.

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Find a candle scent you love and light it! I love the smell of apples or orange and cloves.

2. Journal.

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Buy a cute journal and a good pen and get to work. You don't have to write a lot, but writing how you're feeling is a great way to help you better process your emotions!

3. Try a SAD lamp.

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If you're feeling depressed, it could be the lack of sunlight. There are a number of SAD lamps that are intended to mimic sunlight and help you feel happier. I've never used one, so I don't know how effective they are, but it could be worth a shot!

4. Take care of your skin.

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In the winter, our skin can get really dry, so make sure you use a good moisturizer and exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!

5. Cook good food.

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Cooking healthy meals for yourself is bound to make you feel better and give you something to do! Try making warm soups roasted veggies!

6. Paint your nails.

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I've found that painting your nails can really give you the inspiration you need to get other things done on your to-do list. Plus, if you're feeling pretty, you might encourage yourself to get out of the house more.

7. Read a book.

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Take some time to actually read a book, a whole book from front to back! We often get too busy to actually read, but it's really fun and you will feel super accomplished when you're done.

8. Light a fire.

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If you have a fireplace, light a fire in it! The warmth is sure to make you feel cozy and snug.

9. Try a new tea.

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Tea always makes things better. Buy a bunch of different types of tea and find your favorite.

10. Watch a movie.

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Find a movie you've been wanting to see and watch it! You may even want to invite a friend or loved one to came watch it with you.

11. Call a friend.

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If your friends live far away, give them a call and catch up. Hearing your friend's voice could definitely perk you up when you're feeling down.

12. Keep drinking water.

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When it's cold, sometimes we forget to stay hydrated, so make sure you're still drinking lots of water.

13. Take a bath.

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Relax. Take a long bath filled with bath salts and everything that smells good. Listen to jazz music and just chill for a bit.

14. Take a break from the screens.

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Screens can really bring us down. Take a break for a few hours, or even a day or so, without scrolling on your phone.

15. Breathe.

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Just breathe. You're going to be okay. Winter is going to end. Things are going to get better. Just breathe.