This time of year can be tough. Every time we think the snow is gone or the temperature has gone up, we’re greeted with the reality: winter isn’t quite finished yet. There’s still snow to shovel and layers to be worn. However, the days are starting to get longer now and the sunset is slowly being rolled further back in the day, making daylight hang around longer than it did just a month ago. Slowly, but surely, it’ll feel easier to get up in the mornings and the days, warming up, will pass by quicker and with more purpose than these last few months of lazier, quiet months.

The transition from Winter into Spring is always the best reminder that we’re influenced by all sorts of variables every season. The fact that you often feel better during Spring and, for most of us, Spring and Summer are the most we find ourselves naturally motivated, speaks to the influence of our surroundings on our state of mind. Sometimes, those big gloomy feelings you’re carrying around with you all Winter long are not actually yours, sometimes they truly are because the days are shorter and the nights are darker and there are few (if any) flowers blooming.

As we prepare for Spring, try a few different approaches to getting yourself back in the swing of things. Take the time to eat healthy, warm meals that satisfy you and are chalk full of all the vegetables that will go out of season soon. And, always, make that effort, no matter how hard it may be at times, to get together with friends and family even if that means braving the brisk, long night. Laughter and socialization is always going to be good for your soul, no matter the season or time. Lastly, as good preparation for what’s to come, sit down and write out some goals for Spring, whatever those may be for you. It’s important to take the time to reflect on this past season, in all it’s difficulties, to help you understand and plan for the next season.

Ultimately, most of us will be thankful when Winter comes to a close. There is satisfaction in the sound of melting snow as it drips down a storm drain. However, there are ways we can combat our Winter blues, even now as the season is about to turn, that will make the transition into Spring easier and brighter. Keep in mind that healthy habits should be year-round, even when you’re naturally feeling better. It’s important to stay on top of things. Healthy, long-term habits pay off in the small, everyday ways.