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Look on the bright side...

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 08/03) - Well, the party is over: The New Year's whistles have been put away, the credit cards are maxed, and all that remains from the leftover Christmas turkey are soup bones.

With a full 101 days until the next statutory holiday -- Good Friday, April 18 -- there's plenty of winter doldrums and long days at the office ahead of us.

How does one cope during these long winter months?

Colleen Chartrand, owner of Pilote Point Lodge, believes the best way is to move up her spring cleaning schedule a couple of months.

"I actually start my spring cleaning in January," says Chartrand.

"Because, you know, if you don't get that done come spring, nobody wants to be in their house in the spring."

Chartrand believes keeping busy inside during those dreaded, dreary months of January and February goes a long way towards cheering yourself up before the sunny days of spring finally return.

Now if only she can sell the idea to her staff.

"Everybody's like, 'Oh my God, she's back from the lodge. What is she going to tell us to do now?'" laughs Chartrand.

Lowell Ann Fuglsang has three ways to combat the winter blahs.

"The first thing I'm planning on doing is going to a tanning bed to get some rays because I find the darkness really bothers me," says Fuglsang.

She also believes a good regular swim at the pool helps, but more importantly...

"Get the heck out of the house every day," continues Fuglsang, who works out of her home. "Particularly at lunchtime during the daylight hours."

Sean Daly, a teacher at William McDonald school, is back at work this week after a two-week holiday. He says his saving grace of late is making sure the Ott-like light -- a full-spectrum lamp -- is on while working.

"Seriously, that's the one thing I said to myself. 'I'm going to try something different this year,'" says Daly. "I've already put this light up at home, and I've got one other of these bulbs, so I'm going to put a swag up in my classroom over my desk."

Although his full-spectrum lamp is not a true Ott light, Daly says it works wonders brightening up his mood. Unlike normal light bulbs, Ott lights use the full spectrum of light, or white light, to illuminate a room.

"They're quite bright actually so the whole mood will brighten up," says Daly.