Doctor offers way to warm spirits in cold temperatures

Experts say there is a connection between the frigid forecast and your mood. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Have you found yourself feeling down lately? Experts say there is a connection between the frigid forecast and your mood.

A local doctor offers ways to at least warm your spirit.

The holiday hype is over and so are the parties and get-togethers.

Kentuckiana's in the dead of winter, and spring and the Kentucky Derby are in the distance.

If you're dreaming of daffodils and more daylight, doctors say you're not the only one. "That is to be expected. You're not getting as much sun. Maybe you're not engaging in activities that aren't as fun as you do in the spring and the summer. So, that's totally normal. Seasonal Affective Disorder or major depressive disorder that has a seasonal pattern, what you would see is, you'd be sad most of the day, more days than not for longer than two weeks," says Dr. Katy Hopkins, a pediatric psychologist for Norton Children's Medical Associates.

Dr. Hopkins said the disorder can prevent people from enjoying activities they normally would. "That's when you know that you need to go in and either talk to your primary care provider or a counselor," she said.

Otherwise, she says there are ways to lighten someone's mood. One way is going outside. "Even if there's cloud cover, just being outside and being active can improve our moods," she said.

Exercise, continuing to do what makes you happy and using full spectrum light bulbs or sun lamps can also help. "Taking vacations. It's also a great time to take a vacation and get that boost," she said.

"Busiest time for booking is actually right now, because people are planning all their summer vacations, their fall vacations, next year's Christmas vacations and even things into 2020," says Lou Conkling, owner of Knights Travel. 

Conkling said while the forecast does not usually bring impulse traffic, it does happen. "You will get somebody, especially if we get some deep snow like we had a few years ago, that says, 'I need to get out of town. Find me anything, and find it fast.'"

Florida is the most popular destination, followed by the Caribbean and Europe.

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