We’re on the cusp of Spring at last, which means that the warmer weather is on its way – it’s just that it doesn’t feel like it when you’re knee deep in snow drifts just trying to get to the front of your house! The heavy, grey skies are on their way out in favor of that endless blue with a light breeze; far favorable to the feeling of being suffocated by clouds!

Everyone gets a little bit miserable in the winter months. Some people believe (rightly) that snow is for Christmas, and anything after that is simply an inconvenience. Then there are others who get a little more than just miserable. If you haven’t heard of it, SAD – or Seasonal Affective Disorder – is a big deal. It’s more than just feeling slightly sad, it’s a form of depression that weans off a little in the Spring months. It’s a depression that relies on your hormonal state and physical things like body temperature and exposure to natural light. There are ways that you can fight back against the symptoms of SAD if you feel the cloud coming down around your head, and we’ve got a few of them for you below.

Get Out. It may be grey and gloomy outside but getting out there and breathing in some of the fresh air can help. It opens your lungs and draws in much needed oxygen to your system and you can really benefit – especially if the sun comes out.

Eat Sunshine. We’re not suggesting you head out and open your mouth to sun rays. Indiana University’s School of Public Health suggests that vitamins and minerals are an essential part of our diets. To that end, you need to look at this list of sunshine food that can really help to alleviate symptoms of SAD. Vitamin D is necessary for your health when you’re not getting enough sunshine, so find things that have vitamin D in it.

Light It Up. You may not have heard of it, but light therapy does wonders for those who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder. The light therapy box that you need will be different from what others need, so make sure that you speak to your doctor before heading to Amazon.

Talk It Out. Cognitive behavioural therapy can really help you to get what you need to break out of the shell of depression. Talking about how you feel and getting a formal SAD diagnosis can also help.

Work Out. Burning off your energy with exercise can really do more for your symptoms of SAD than most things. Endorphins are release during intensive exercise and act like painkillers for depression.

SAD doesn’t just affect us in the winter months, it can affect some people in the summer. However, most people are affected because there is just not enough sunshine in their lives. Try and book yourself a winter break abroad so that you can soak up some sunshine at any time.

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