Chase Away Those Cold Weather Blues

| 9/14/2011 11:09:28 AM

J.PattonToday, I woke up this morning to a less than cheery sight—dreary, gray skies, sprinkles pinging off my bedroom window and a daily forecast with a high of 67 degrees. There’s no doubt about it, folks—fall is on its way.

I admit that the end of my favorite season is quite a bummer. Each year, I dread the endless span of sunless days and frigid temperatures that start around October. And I’m not alone. In fact, some Americans (one in six) even suffer from a depression caused by the change in seasons called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Symptoms, which include depression, hopelessness, loss of energy and anxiety, are usually triggered around the beginning of fall and carry on into the winter months.

It's easy to understand why gray skies and cold temperatures can bring you down.
Photo by gurdonark/Courtesy

Even if you don’t suffer from this type of depression, some days the winter blues are simply impossible to shake. Luckily, there are a few changes you can make to raise your spirits:

Exercise regularly. Getting daily exercise isn’t only important to warding off obesity—it can also make you happier. Studies show physical exercise is great for relieving stress and anxiety. It also helps you feel better about your body—so get moving!

Go outside. Walking around outside when temperatures are below freezing may not seem like the healthiest idea, but research shows that getting outside and soaking up the sun can boost your mood significantly. For best results, pay Mother Nature a visit within two hours of waking up each morning.