If going on a warm, tropical vacation is out of the question, these 5 things are the next best thing to help you feel better.

Winter blues. I get them every year. Despite my usual, cheery dispositon, I find myself wanting to sleep longer, my mood can dip into little to no motivation and I just want to be in my pajamas all the time, dreaming of a warm getaway. Stress in life can do this also. However, if you find yourself not being able to climb out of your funk, these tips are guaranteed and proven to help dig you out of your QCA winter slump.

1. Light up your life with Vitamin D light bulbs.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the absorption of fats and for bone health. The two ways we get it is through the skin and in our diet. As the temps remain tundra-like and our bare skin isn't getting exposed to sunlight, our Vitamin D levels go down. Have no fear, vitamin d light bulbs are here and can help save your hiney (and other parts) from a winter depression. According to BerkelyWellness.com, you only need five minutes exposure per day.

You can grab Vitamin D light bulbs from anywhere between $6 - $19 or invest in a light box for around $425.

2. Eat more dark chocolate.

This one is easy. As if we need another reason to enjoy chocolate, beating the winter blues with it, is another one. Chocolate (the darker the better) releases endorphins in your brain and can help you have an overall sense of well-being. Dark chocolate and raw cacao (cacao nibs) are considered 'superfood' and are high in antioxidants, according to Dr. Josh Axe.

This, of course, doesn't mean, over-indulge to add to the winter bulge. A little extra here and there can really help you through.

3. Float.

I just went to Float QC and it dawned on me, while I was in the warm epsom salt water, that this is a perfect way to simulate a mini-vacation. There's stress-relieving music, soft music and floating in the water is like being at your own, private pool. It's quiet, no one is around, and you're still for the next 60-90 minutes, which is difficult for anyone. The health benefits are plenty, including reduced stress, pain, inflammation and better cognitive performance and improved athletic performance, according to research at FloatQC.com.

4. Listen to B100.

Put a smile on your face, start dancing and download our free mobile app at B100QuadCities.com or get it free on the app store on your phone.

5. Get outside of yourself.

Whether it's exercise, helping others by volunteering at a local shelter or literally, getting outdoors, according to RealSimple.com, all of these things have proven health benefits in reducing the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the winter. If you don't move it, you lose it, and that could mean mentally, too.

Whether you combine these methods or do one at a time, there are ways to get through this blustery winter we are experiencing in the Quad Cities. Keep a positive outlook, we are just 9 weeks away from Spring and the days are getting longer.

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