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If you’re feeling a bit less energetic and more in favor of curling up on your couch with takeout and Netflix now that the sun is setting around 4:30 p.m., you’re not alone.

The so-called “winter blues” are real, Deirdre Conroy, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, told The Huffington Post. Fewer hours of daylight in the winter months do affect our bodies and our moods. “This is not a made up ‘thing.’ This is a real phenomenon,” she explained.

An estimated one to 10 percent of people, depending on the location, experience seasonal affective disorder ― a seasonal onset of clinical depression symptoms that requires treatment. But even those without SAD are likely to notice their moods are affected in less severe ways by the changing seasons.

When there are fewer hours of natural light during the day, some of the processes affected by the body’s internal circadian clock ― including ones that influence our mood ― get disrupted, Kathryn A. Roecklein, an associate professor in the department of psychology at University of Pittsburgh, previously told The Huffington Post.

The circadian clock is responsible for managing our sleep cycle, but it plays a big role in a lot of other systems in our body, like hormone release, temperature regulation, metabolism and mood.

Get outside, stay active and stay social

Even though the winter blues are a biological response to the changing light levels ― something outside of anyone’s control ― there are steps you can take to keep your mood up through all the seasons. (Though if you find yourself experiencing symptoms of depression once the seasons change, such as losing interest in your usual hobbies, feeling hopeless or having trouble sleeping, you may have SAD and should get help from your doctor or mental health professional.)

For many of us, things like getting outside in the sun, exercise, eating right, socializing and maintaining your regular sleep/wake cycle are known mood boosters, Conroy said.

Keep to your regular activities, she said.

“Being more sedentary can exacerbate the seasonal changes in mood ― and you get in a downward spiral,” she said. “Go out with friends. Go to the gym, even if you don’t [necessarily] feel like it.”

SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-feel-happy-dark-morning-night_us_583373aae4b030997bc0ee5d?section=us_healthy-living

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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