Kick the ‘winter blues’

Tips for brightening your mood during the cold, dark months

Feeling down? You’re not alone—plenty of people feel a little low during the cold, dark months of the year. While nearly 10 million Americans suffer from clinically diagnosed seasonal affective disorder (SAD), many more experience a milder version of depression, colloquially known as the “winter blues.” Here are a few simple ways to keep your spirits lifted through the season:

Brighten your environment: Get a higher-wattage lamp for your office, or go big and buy a dawn simulator for your bedroom, which gradually turns on the lights to make it easier to get out of bed while it’s still dark outside.

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.