With the changing of seasons rapidly coming upon us, it's important to be reminded that some of us are heavily affected by gloomy days. I say this because I am one of them. For the last few years, I have noticed that as winter sets in my mood has a tendency to change with it. I am a self described upbeat guy, but nothing can damper my mood like not seeing blue skies and sunshine. Last year around this time I invested about $30 in a "sun lamp." It may sound silly to some, but I was living in Portland and it rained... constantly. I found myself feeling blue more often than not. It was then that I realized am truly one of those affected by "SAD," AKA Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "SAD" can be described as the following:

"Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

I know I'm not the first nor will I be the last to be affected by this. The best advice I can give to anyone is to force yourself to be social. Drawing away from friends and family is one of the worst things you can do when being affected by "SAD." If you're feeling down, it's very important you tell someone. If you notice your friend acting down or withdrawn, check on them. Let them know you care.

There are a few other things that have helped me, besides my sun lamp:

I changed the background on my phone to a sunny beach. Sounds nutty, but hey, seeing that sunshine helped!
Creating an upbeat playlist to start my day positively

Essential Oil Diffuser- there are many oils that can lift your mood. You'd be amazed.
Hot Yoga! There's nothing like sitting in a hot room in the middle of winter breaking a sweat!

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