With the long winter months right in front of us it's time to take a look at how you can protect your happiness. Seriously, having spent what can arguably be called the most depressing winter of my life in Portland last year, I know how Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) can effect your entire world.

Step 1: Be Aware

S.A.D is very real and believe me when I say this is a very difficult battle to fight. It can not only take its toll on your mental health, but also those around you. Being aware of changes in your feelings/body is the first step in fighting this enemy.

Step 2: Get Out & Sweat It Out

Exercising can be one of your most powerful weapons in fighting S.A.D. Being active releases dopamine: a neurotransmitter that helps keep you in a good mood. Plus, getting outside in the sun can help produce vitamin D.

Step 3: Bathe In The Light

Coming from my personal experience, Light Therapy Boxes can help reduce the symptoms of S.A.D. Even though it took a few days to start feeling the positive effects. Once it kicked in I started feeling more alert and happy. You can find LTBs on Amazon from for less than $100.

Step 4: See A Doctor Or Talk It Out

I can't recommend this enough. If you feel like it's too much or you can't handle it talk to someone. Friends, family even a doctor. Get help. Like I said S.A.D is a real thing, its a fight, it's a battle and there's no reason for you to fight it alone.