IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - It's that time of year when many eastern Idahoans experience cabin fever. One in every 16 Americans suffer from cabin fever. But you don't have to end up one of the statistics.
Karrie Kondel knows that the winter months can be a drag.
"I feel worse if I hang out all day," said Kondel.
So that's why she stays active at the YMCA gym and sets new goals for herself.
"I am actually training for a small triathlon ... so I actually run, bike and swim," said Kondel.
And while Kondel realizes she needs to get out and about during the wintertime, according to Dr. Lovanna Patterson, licensed psychologist, some people may not even realize they're experiencing cabin fever symptoms.
"Some anxiousness, some depression, restlessness, tension, if you're snapping at everybody," said Patterson. "If you don't want to do anything, lay on the couch, don't want to leave the couch".
Winter can be brutal to Idaho with the dull murky days, less sunlight and snow covered grounds and roadways.
"It is stressful to go outside. I mean, you can't just get in your car and drive one place to the other. It's a challenge," said Patterson.
But with a little motivation, you can overcome that challenge.
"Mood is very easy to change, it fluctuates quite a bit, all you need is some effort," said Patterson.
Here are some tips to help you get over the blues:
Take a walk outside your home or workplace. Being outdoors with fresh air can help destress the mind. Find something that makes you laugh, such as watching a comedy. Turning on an extra light in a room can increase serotonin levels in your body, changing your mood. Exercising between 15-30 minutes a day can release endorphins.
Or you can set a new goal.
"When I starting jogging, I could barely do a mile without dying, and now I was able to run four miles and not die so here I am."
Now there's good news: We have less than two months until we begin the spring season. Hopefully that news can bring a little hope and a smile to your day.
If you still are noticing signs of depression after changing up your daily activities, make sure to contact your doctor or a local therapist.