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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

Winter Blues and Migraines

Published in Neurosciences, For the Health of It, Headache Center Author: Leah Thronaum,DO

Many people notice that their mood drops a little when winter rolls around. This occurs because our bodies receive less sunlight during the winter months, and the lack of sunlight affects our sleep and our moods.

A small decrease in your mood during the holiday season is normal, but these mood changes may put you at risk for a migraine attack. Some people experience symptoms of major depression during the winter months and individuals with migraine have higher rates of depression than those without.

Tips or Coping With Winter Blues:

  • Stay active! Stay involved in activities, exercise and get out of the house more.
  • Seek out others. Spending time with friends, family or social groups can reduce feelings of isolation and provide social support. Volunteer for a meaningful cause, be active in community or religious groups and participate in social events – even if you don’t feel motivated to do it!
  • Use sunlight to your advantage. So long as bright light isn’t a trigger for your migraine attacks, expose yourself to sunlight or other bright light (but don’t look directly at it, of course) for 20 minutes each morning. Try sitting down to eat breakfast by a large window that receives morning sunlight from the east.
  • Remember that your drop in mood is temporary. It will improve when spring comes.
  • Accept your feelings of sadness. The new year may cause you to remember something that has been lost (a loved one, a relationship, etc.). Value the fond memories but don’t let them decrease your enjoyment of the present and the future.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience more serious mood changes. Such as: very sad mood most days, loss of interest in normal activities or thoughts of suicide.
  • As much as possible, keep to your normal daily rhythm. Temper your indulgences. And, above all, keep things in perspective.

Wishing you and your family an enjoyable, safe and headache-free new year!