The sun-starved days of November and December are mentally and emotionally draining for many of us. After the short-lived initial elation of gaining an hour of sleep wears off, you may feel lethargic, grouchy, sad, or unmotivated. If you are a nine-to-fiver, you commute to work in the dark and emerge from your energy-saving-flourescent, often windowless office into the icy twilight. Here are some tips to stave off the winter blues and celebrate this time:

1) Eat Right, Feel Light: As tempting as it is to attempt to boost serotonin and other neurochemicals by gorging on chocolate, bread, french fries, and red wine, the rebound effect of all of those carby, high-inducing foods plus alcohol is the inevitable crash and hangover. Eat hearty, vegetable-rich soups and stews, and don’t skimp on the good fats and organic animal products if you aren’t vegetarian. Toss roasted root vegetables like parsnips and sweet potatoes, with organic butter, grass-fed ghee, or coconut oil, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and a drizzle of maple syrup if you want something sweet and hearty.

That said, if you do choose salted caramel dark chocolate, a full-fat pumpkin spice latte with double whip or bacon-cheese fries, let yourself off the hook, put down your iPhone, and pay attention. Multitasking and food don’t mix; ever get to the end of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and realize that you missed the whole experience? Enjoy every bite, or notice that you don’t actually like it as much as you thought you might. Indulge mindfully.

2) Slow down: It is completely normal to feel like hibernating, slowing down, turning inward during this time. What is NOT normal is our society’s insistence to continue moving at a breakneck pace. Go to bed earlier during this time. Curl up with a book. Continue to exercise, but at a maintenance pace, or choose a long walk vs. a short sprint. Embrace stillness and let yourself be slow. Think Turtle medicine.

3) Feather your Nest: If you are compelled to be inside and horizontal, make your environment conducive to rest. Think, warm, soft, snuggly, clean, uncluttered, and go from there.

4) Lighten up: Candles rock. As does this thing. For those of us who feel SAD, consistently spending 30 minutes in the morning in front of a light box can really help. Morning coffee, meditation, checking Facebook, doing your makeup–any of these morning rituals can be done while getting your full spectrum relief. As much as I try to eschew multitasking, this just makes sense.

Get outside as much as possible, preferably midday when the sun is highest in the sky. Go for a walk at lunch. Really, step away from your desk.

5) Breathe: Try this simple Yogic breathing technique: Breathe in long and light through your nose for a count of 4. Hold the breath in for 4. Breathe out through your nose for 4. Hold the breath out for 4. Your eyes can be closed or open, and you can be seated or lying down (preferably swaddled in your favorite blanket or one of these (SNUGGI). Repeat for 1 minute to 1 hour, and reap the rewards of controlling the breath and stilling the mind.