Cold weather is officially here, and you know what that means? Pumpkin Spice Lattes, apple picking, sweater season and (for some) a serious desire to never leave the house again.
I don't know about you, but when the weather starts to get a bit chillier, I'd much rather snuggle up on the couch with a glass of wine and some Netflix than subject myself to the grey skies.
It's actually a fairly common feeling and (when recurring) is often diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD.
Whether you believe the seasonal changes affect your mood or not, there's no denying there's some correlation happening.
In fact, one study found that an estimated 10 to 20 percent of recurrent depression cases can be classified as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
So what do you do about it? Well if you can't afford light therapy, I've got some easy solutions for you.
Keep a consistent schedule.
Even if it's difficult, it's important to try and stick to a regular routine every day to help ease your body's tendency to hibernate.
Add Vitamin D supplements.
Low levels of Vitamin D have proven to contribute to overall depression. In the fall and winter months when sunlight is scarce, our bodies produce less Vitamin D and that can often trigger SAD symptoms.
My advice: go to your local Whole Foods and pick up a bottle of Vitamin D supplements.
Go outside (even if you don't want to).
It may be dark and gloomy out, but that doesn't mean getting some fresh air won't immediately brighten your mood.
If it's raining or freezing out there and going outside really isn't in the cards, try positioning yourself closer to a window during your work day to soak up what natural rays of light you can.
And if none of these are working, remember you're not alone.
Don't be afraid to get some professional help and remember there are always sunny days ahead.