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Mood Boosters

18 ways for women to chase away the winter blues.

Does being cooped up through the long winter months have you feeling down and lethargic? Staying physically and mentally active is essential to maintaining your energy and keeping your spirits high. Here, we’ve rounded up a few boredom busters to try.

Go skating. Ice, inline or roller skating is excellent cardiovascular exercise and an effective energy and mood booster. It also improves balance and coordination. Not to mention, it's just plain fun. So find a rink to get your blood pumping.

Film festival. These are often held during the winter months at independent theaters, museums, and on college campuses. If the festival has multiple films you'd like to check out, it likely offers discounted passes to see multiple or unlimited movies during the event. 

Join a gym. Get your cardio workout on treadmills, stationary bicycles, stair climbers, arc trainers, indoor rowers and elliptical trainers. Then hit the weight machines every other day to tone and strengthen your muscles. Just think how great you'll look come summer!

Aerobics or dance class. Aerobics is an excellent workout that also enhances energy. But if the 'E' word scares you, opt for a dance class instead. There are lots of styles to choose from: jazz, modern, hip-hop, ballet, clogging, ballroom, salsa, contra, square dancing and more.

Attend a sporting event. Get tickets to a football, hockey or basketball game. If watching team sports isn't your thing, you might enjoy a boxing or martial arts match or ice skating competition.

Try a new sport. Get your game on with a variety of indoor sports -- racquetball, martial arts, tennis, rock climbing, swimming, volleyball, ice hockey, boxing, bowling and basketball among them. Check with your local YMCA, recreation centers, or community parks and recreation offerings.

Spa treatment. Revitalize by scheduling a day at the spa, or give yourself a home spa treatment. Bask in luxury with a facial, manicure, pedicure and hair treatment. A new hairstyle or highlights are also great ways to lift your spirits.

Form a weekly or monthly card-playing group. Ask friends, neighbors, coworkers and family to join you in a regular evening of bridge, euchre, poker or rummy. Ask everyone to bring a snack to share, and take turns with other players hosting the event.

Go to the theater or a dance performance. Look for performances at performing arts theaters as well as local community venues. Community colleges and universities also often have performances open to the public.

A weekend away. Feeling cooped up? Take a long weekend somewhere warm, or even just a lively city nearby. Look up attractions and entertainment before you go to make the most of your weekend stint.

Go to a concert. Check out large venues near you. But don't forget about smaller community venues that often bring in national and international independent artists of a wide variety of genres such as bluegrass, folk, jazz, Celtic, rock, R&B, blues, Latin and much more. Smaller venues are great because they provide a more intimate experience.

Check out a museum. Metro Detroit has no shortage of museums and art galleries in the suburbs, in Downtown Detroit and on college campuses. Art, history, and science museums are a fun, fascinating way to spend a day.

Visit the library. If you like to read, many libraries offer cozy reading nooks. So it's an excellent way to get out of the house for a while and still relax. Plus, libraries offer so much more than books -- they house extensive collections of magazines, DVDs, video games and music, too.

Do a jigsaw puzzle. Perfect for relaxing while exercising your brain. Before you begin, cut a piece of wood or cardboard a little larger than the dimensions of the puzzle. That way, if it takes a while to complete, you can store it out of your way.

Volunteer for a local charity. Choose your favorite charity and volunteer your time and service. Whether you want to help the elderly, poor, sick, homeless, kids, pets or the environment, there's something meaningful out there for everyone.

Rearrange your furniture. Give your living room, bedroom or office a fresh look by rearranging for a cozier feel or for a better view of daylight to help brighten your environment.

Paint a wall. Choose a bright, cheery paint color to brighten a room. Do you need more energy? Try a jolt of color on a single wall (so as not to overwhelm a room). Orange increases happiness and social behavior. Yellow helps you think better while reducing depression. 

Smaller venues are great because they provide a more intimate experience.