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Ways for winter-weary women to beat seasonal stress

Even though this winter has not given us the typical twin challenges of frigid temperatures and endless snow dumps, there are still many dreary days ahead before spring arrives in Minnesota.


Our long cold season takes a higher toll on women.


Researchers confirm that women suffer from “winter blues” and the more serious mental health disorder know as Seasonal Affective Disorder more often than men do. The condition known as SAD is brought on by is the shorter, darker days.


Other health conditions experienced by many women and exacerbated by cold weather include asthma, migraines, eczema, arthritis and chronic pain conditions.


There’s a simple, free way that women can manage winter stress, according to

Shontel Booker, certified yoga teacher, spiritual life coach and owner of the St Paul-based Dream in Color Healing.


Booker advises women to regularly take what she calls a “mindfulness walk.”


“Especially in this season with no snow, get outside and be really intentional about your walk. Pay attention to what you see. Take your earbuds out and take in the sounds and even the smells in the air,” Booker advised. “Be present and in the moment. Notice your breathing. This its a restorative way to calm your nervous system.”


Booker said that mindfulness walks echo the proven stress-busting mind, body and spirit connections made on the yoga mat. She finds the value of just slowing down is especially vital for Black women.


“Black women are always on the move doing stuff; we are the superwoman in the Black family, the caregivers. Historically we have not been allowed to just rest,” she said. “It’s taken me a while to give myself permission to do it. It’s what fuels me and why I teach yoga. It’s helped me and I want to share it.”


Another pick-me-up for winter-weary women with cabin fever is a staycation.


Right now the Minneapolis Four Seasons Hotel is tempting visitors with a Restore and Recharge package, a 20 percent discount for two nights or more.


“You dip your toes in the water of our indoor pool, you go to the spa, you go to our sauna. You relax, sleep in our wonderful beds. You go to brunch or you cab order breakfast in bed. You truly recharge,” enthused Florian Riedel, the general manager of the region’s first five-star hotel.


Reidel admits that he and his own wife have benefited from the hotel’s offerings as a guests themselves.


“We’ve got two little kids and my wife and I, whenever we can, we step away for a day. It makes a difference I tell you,” he said.


Located at 245 Hennepin Ave, guests enjoy the views from every window of the hotel, with the chance to see the downtown skyline from some vantage points and the Mississippi River, which is two blocks away, from others.


Right now visitors are particularly interested in booking a winter staycation for the upcoming three-day weekend of Presidents Day, but Reidel said that the Restore and Recharge deal is available through the end of April, subject to availability.


“This is a place for everybody. You can bring your kids or take a break without them or with your partner,” he said. “We are a Four Seasons for everyone.”


For information about Dream in Color Healing:


For information about packages at The Four Seasons Minneapolis:


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