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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Don’t let winter get you down

Published in Mental Health, For the Health of It Author: Diane Reller, MS, LMFT, LADC

Do you feel like hibernating in the winter? Do the short days make you sluggish and depressed? You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons predominantly in the fall and spring. Symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Try these ideas:

  1. Increase the natural light in your home. You also may want to purchase a special lamp that simulates daylight.
  2. Exercise outdoors. Even if the sun isn’t shining, taking a walk in the morning or at noon has been shown to help people affected by SAD. Exercise has been proven to help relieve stress and anxiety.
  3. Ask your primary care provider about adding Vitamin D to your diet.
  4. Find seasonal activities that you enjoy. Try snowshoeing or cross country skiing. If it’s too cold outside, start a new hobby. Take painting or dancing class. Join a book club.
  5. Get out of your house and socialize.
  6. Go on vacation to a sunny destination. Planning your trip will give you something to look forward to and the sunshine will help bring you out of hibernation.

When to seek help

It's normal to have days when you are down. But if you feel depressed for days at a time and you don’t want to do activities that you normally enjoy, see your health care provider. This is especially important if you feel hopeless or think about suicide.