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Seasonal Sadness: Beat the Winter Blues

The holidays can sometimes feel heavy, as you carry the load of balancing your physical, mental, and financial health. We consulted with local experts on thoughtful ways to support your needs and keep your head up this season.


Staying active in the winter and during holidays can feel daunting, as it gets darker earlier, schedules are full, and your couch calls to you. Get creative and build a plan that fits the season, while having some fun!

Bring the Fun Indoors
“Getting the kids involved in some indoor fun is always a good time. Children love animals, so incorporate animal name exercises, such as frog hops, bear crawls, bird dogs, and lizard pushups. See how many [the whole family] can do in 30 seconds, then repeat to see who can beat their previous record. Or use indoor snowballs and laundry baskets for a ball toss game; do two pushups, then toss the ball. The first team to get all their snowballs in the basket wins!” Jamie Ellsworth, Head Coach, FIIT Nation El Dorado Hills,

Reset with Rest
“Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Prioritize sleep hygiene and create a comfortable environment to ensure you're well-rested and better equipped to handle stress.” Lia Ross, General Manager, Roseville Health & Wellness Center,

Establishing a morning or nightly routine consisting of things to look forward to will help your emotional health.


Turn Up the Music
“Don’t want to go anywhere? Turn on your favorite music then dance, do basic exercises, or vacuum for 20 minutes.” Lisa Packheiser, Fitness Director, Spare Time Sports Clubs,

Boost Your Immune System
“Keeping your immune system and spirits in top shape can become more difficult in winter; thankfully, there are many excellent supplements that help. Make sure to incorporate a good probiotic, since your immune system and serotonin levels are created in the gut. As the days get shorter, it’s harder to maintain adequate vitamin D levels, so a supplement can be helpful. Less daylight can also have a negative effect on your mood; [taking the] herb ashwagandha—a powerful adaptogen—[can be beneficial].” Laura Ryan & Sandy Lovasco, Product Consultants, Sunrise Natural Foods,


The mental load of packed calendars, extra costs, and less daylight can lead to burnout. Make sure to prioritize time for YOU to adjust and unwind.

Validate Your Feelings
“Give yourself a permission slip that says, ‘Both things are true.’ If you feel overwhelmed by stress but still want to enjoy something important to you, both things can be true. This permission slip supports the winning mindset that even though you feel blue or stressed, you can still enjoy a situation simply by showing up or giving yourself grace.” Jenifer Novak, Empowerment Coach,  

Schedule Time for You
“Establishing a morning or nightly routine consisting of things to look forward to will help your emotional health. This could look like journaling for five minutes each morning or night to clear clutter from your thoughts. If holidays are particularly stressful [for you], consider simplifying your commitments. Being proactive about what boundaries you would like to set will help keep your calendar feeling more manageable and help you to be more present.” Ashlee Janzen, MS, LMFT,

Write down an actual budget of income and expenses to see what you can afford.


Just Say “No”
“It’s okay to say ‘no.’ If you find yourself saying ‘yes’ to everything during the holiday season, it can become overwhelming. Make sure you take care of YOU; you are worthy.” Wanda Gaines, Wanda Gaines Coaching,

Financial Health
Managing finances during a season full of giving can feel like an uphill battle, but having a toolbox of tips when the wish lists and holiday marketing campaigns hit can help you navigate holiday spending wisely.

Plan Ahead
“Communicate realistic expectations with your family and friends ahead of time. We don’t want sad faces on Christmas morning when the pony isn’t under the tree. It could be as simple the four-gift rule (from Dave Ramsey): something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” Clint Herndon, CPA, CFE, Next Peak CPA,

Stick to a Budget
“Write down an actual budget of income and expenses to see what you can afford. It’s okay to say no to additional spending and gift within your financial means or find other low-cost ways to show loved ones that you’re grateful for them. Protect your stress levels and happiness over the pressure, and don’t cave in!” Matt Natoli CFP, CPWA, Founder, Natoli Wealth Management,

Shop Smarter
“Shop clearances, second-hand stores, and outlets. Some of the best deals can be [found the month] before the holidays. And while we all want to win the award for best decorated house, it can be expensive to buy things that will sit in your garage for 11 months out of the year and run up your electric bill when they are out.” Clint Herndon, CPA, CFE, Next Peak CPA,

by Melissa Strand
Top photo © lukesw - Bottom photo © Proxima Studio -