Winter is here, with its gray weather, shorter days and cold wind that encourages us to stay inside. The noticeable decrease in natural light plays on our biological clock, on our waking and sleeping cycles, and can cause various hormonal imbalances.

No wonder 1 out of 5 North Americans experiences the “winter blues”. From December to March, they’re likely to show a few of the following symptoms: moodiness, irritability, low energy, decreased libido. These are not very pleasant months.

But for some people, the phenomenon is a lot more intense. About 0.7 to 9.7% of the adult population suffers from an actual seasonal depression – also known as seasonal affective disorder – and may have difficulty performing their usual activities. They may experience sadness, dark thoughts, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, and may have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.

Turning the tide

Fortunately, both the winter blues and the seasonal affective disorder are easily manageable, according to psychotherapist Katherine Schafler. In an article published in Thrive Global, she provides 8 proven solutions to improve your mood during the winter months:

1. Turn the lights on

2. Get some exercise

3. Put more color in your life

4. Talk to your doctor

5. See a therapist

6. Take a walk

7. Consult a dietitian

8. Plan a little trip

SOURCE:  Thrive Global

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