Beat the winter blues

A few ways to stay happy when it’s dark and cold outside

It's natural to feel a little low during the colder, darker months of the year. While nearly 10 million Americans suffer from clinically diagnosed seasonal affective disorder, many more experience a milder version of depression, often referred to as the winter blues. Luckily, there are some ways to avoid feeling blue this winter:

• Brighten your environment. Some people go so far as to get a dawn simulator for their bedroom, which gradually turns on the lights to make getting out of bed when it's still dark out a little easier.

• Exercise. A Harvard University study found that walking for 35 minutes five days a week or one hour three times a week can improve symptoms of depression.

• Volunteer. Helping others has been proven to brighten people's moods.

Source: Real Simple