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Fight Off the Winter Blues


As the temperature drops and it gets harder to go outside and get sunlight, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. Many people spend their time in the house curled up in warm blankets.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.”

Symptoms include oversleeping, appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, weight gain and low energy.

One treatment is light therapy. Because of the shorter days people do not get enough exposure to the sun. There are special lights that expose people to bright light upon waking. It is meant to mimic outdoor light given during the summer.

Vitamin D also is also recommended to help at this time of year.

Many experts said one of the best remedies is to get outside, keep active and exercise.

“When you exercise endorphins are released. When we have less sunlight and less Vitamin D in our body the chemical composition of our brain changes. Exercise releasing endorphins through the chemical change in your body by physical movement but also socialization is important,” said Heather Labbe, YWCA Member Engagement and Sales Manager. “It helps to have contact with other people. When people get the blues we get narrow and think this is going to last forever. When we get out of the house and we see people and brave the snow it brings a lighter feeling.”

There are various programs at the YWCA involving exercise such as Fit over 50, kickboxing and yoga. Group members agreed that the exercise programs help with winter blues.

“It (exercise) gets your energy up and gets you out of the house,” said Karen Rosol. “It warms you up and makes you feel real good.”

“I love coming to class for socialization,” said Jeanette Fresina. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The next one night program at the YWCA is rock your resolution on Thursday, Jan. 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. A total body calorie burn. 30 minutes RPM, 30 minutes body combat, 30 minutes of body flow. Free for members. Call 860-225-4681 x226 for more information.

The parks and recreation department has several programs planned this winter to keep adults active.

A new adult dodgeball league is starting on Tuesday, Feb. 20. It is co-ed professional style with a regular season and a champion.

An adult tennis program for ages 18 and up starts Feb. 2 It is an hour on Fridays from 7-8 p.m. It is advanced beginners and up.

Matt Scoffield of the parks and recreation department said, many people participate in buckets of luck. Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of both months from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each person who purchases a bucket of balls at the Stanley Golf Course Driving Range will be entered into a raffle contest to take place the last Thursday of each month.

Monthly prizes will include one 2018 season pass winner (valued at $1450), 2018 free foursome with GPS carts (valued at $230), a free skybox voucher for a 2018 New Britain Bees home game (valued at $250), and a 45-minute lesson with Stanley Golf Pro Kyle Hedstrom (valued at $60).

The New Britain Senior Center has zumba, exercise classes and bus trips for older adults.

Many people just need to get out of the house. New Britain has several places to see a live show including Trinity on Main, Hole in the Wall Theater, and Connecticut Theatre Company. Starting Jan. 9 Hole in the Wall has The Glass Menagerie. Ragtime is at Connecticut Theatre Company through Jan. 14.

Art programs take place at The Stockman Gallery and The Art League of New Britain.

Adult programs at the New Britain Museum of American Art run daily and several such as First Friday run in the evening. Presently running is an American Masterpiece Tour. (Visit

The New Britain Industrial Museum recently moved to 59 Main St. and is open Wednesdays 12-4 p.m., Thursdays 2-4 p.m., Fridays 2-4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

CCSU has free Classic Friday Films at the Torp Theater beginning Feb. 23 with Bonnie and Clyde.

A great website to find out local events to help combat the winter blues is There are such programs as knitting groups and chess clubs to open mic nights and book club meetings. Entertainment is also listed.