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If the shorter days, lack of sunlight and drastic changes in temperature drain your energy and make you feel sad, you could be experiencing a common case of seasonal depression. According to Everyday Health, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of seasonal depression that occurs primarily in the winter months and is triggered by the change in seasons. In fact, as many as 4 to 6 percent of U.S residents experience some form of seasonal depression which starts when the days get shorter and the temperature gets colder.

So, if you suddenly find yourself feeling down when the winter months hit, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are a few simple at home remedies you can adopt to brighten your mood and bring you out of this seasonal slump.

1. Aromatherapy

The use of aromatherapy may help boost your mood in the winter as the oils and smells help influence the area of your brain that controls feelings and the body’s internal clock. Try adding a few drops of oils to your bath at night to help you relax.

2. Exercise

Exercise is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mental health as well. Getting your body moving will help combat any form of depression and most importantly make you feel good. If you can’t exercise outside, choose an indoor workout that consists of a treadmill, stationary bike or an elliptical machine that’s close to a window. Practicing yoga is also a good tactic to help improve your mental well-being during the dead of winter. Not to mention it’ll help your body get ready for beach season in six months!

3. Get Some Sun

Get outside as much as possible on those bright, sunny days and take advantage of what sunlight there is. Take a walk around the block at lunch time, take your dog for a stroll around your neighborhood or just spend time on a park bench. Also, when you’re indoors, keep your blinds open as much as possible to let the natural light in. Bright environments help brighten your mood!

4. Keep a Journal

If you find it hard to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, try keeping a journal. Writing down your thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams can actually help improve your mood and get all those negative thoughts out of our system. Try to write at the end of your day for about 20 minutes and reflect on the last 24 hours. You’ll find yourself finding clarity and relief after releasing any negative thoughts and concerns you’ve been holding in all day.

5. Take a Vacation

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A winter vacation to a warmer climate can help people who experience seasonal depression. Traveling helps you escape the cold and breaks up your mundane daily routine. Just a few days in a sunny place can help lift your spirits and change your mood. Many popular vacation destinations have winter sales as well, so you can travel for cheap and feel great while doing it!

What are some tips you find useful when overcoming seasonal depression?

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