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We all know snow and slush can put you in a funk.

More time indoors can expose you to the cold and flu, leaving you sick or tired. And many people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which causes depressed moods, sleep disturbances and other symptoms.

While it's tempting to shut the world out and wait for the sun to reappear, there are ways to keep the winter blues at bay.

Here’s the good news: relief could be as simple as a good book and a cup of coffee.

The Danish would call that hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga"). It’s an idea that promotes feelings of relaxation, indulgence and gratitude – especially during the cold winter months.

Hygge can look different for everyone. So here are seven tips to help you relax and thrive this winter:

  • Immune-boosting foods: The best way to fight feeling under the weather is boosting your immune system. Citrus, apples and jalapenos are a few foods proven to help fight off illnesses. Chicken soup is all it’s hyped up to be, too. It can ease the symptoms of the common cold by keeping you warm and hydrated.
  • Warm drinks: When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like a hot beverage to make you feel warm and cozy. Coffee, hot chocolate and tea are go-to drinks for a reason. And herbal teas like chamomile have even been known to fight inflammation. Add in honey and lemon for some extra vitamin C, and you might find your new favorite drink in the process.
  • Exercise: It doesn’t sound relaxing to everybody, but exercise sends endorphins to your brain, boosting your energy, mood and alertness. Inactivity causes many people to gain weight over the winter. So staying active can help you feel better — both mentally and physically. Need inspiration? Check out our list of 12 ways to stay active this winter.
  • Time with friends: Even the warmest and coziest home can get lonely when you’re all by yourself. Make plans to share the hygge spirit of gratitude and comfort with your family and friends. If you’re making warm drinks and food, invite others to enjoy them with you. Staying social will help keep you upbeat, especially if you’re an extrovert. If you’re an awards-show junkie, invite some friends over to watch the ceremony together. Read our guide to hosting a winning viewing party.
  • Fireplaces and candles: Central heating is an efficient way to heat your home, but fireplaces and candles are more comforting. Candles fill rooms with ambient light and the smell of your choosing, and there’s nothing like the soothing sound of a crackling fire. Just make sure to stay safe while you stay cozy. Read these candle safety tips and learn how to choose the right kind of firewood. Remember, house fires also peak in the winter, so make sure you follow these tips to heat your home safely.
  • Cozy cocoons: If your house is drafty or you don’t have a fireplace, grab your favorite blanket or sweater. Bundling up will keep you cozy without touching the thermostat. (Want to seal those drafts once and for all? Read our checklist of 12 quick fixes for a drafty house.)
  • Home décor: Winter is the perfect time to redecorate your space. Indoor plants, picture frames and holiday decorations can help you bring life to any room and enjoy staying inside. Don’t know where to start? Check out Pinterest for hygge-inspired decor.

When battling the winter blues, your environment can make a big difference. So does knowing your home is protected with insurance you trust.

Go ahead – sink down and relax into your favorite easy chair. At Miller's, we believe one of the many benefits of complete protection is your well-deserved chill time. See what makes homeowners insurance from Miller's different or find a local agent in your area for a free quote.

This article brought to you by our friends at Erie Insurance. Miller's would like to extend it's gratitude to Erie Insurance for both being a wonderful business ally and for letting us use the articles found on their blog, Eriesense.

Posted 6:00 AM

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