Appropriately named SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that affects people primarily in the winter. It can cause weight gain, moodiness, social withdrawal, and fatigue. And it’s not just a result of being bummed out — hormones are to blame for this seasonal downer. But just ‘cause it’s serious doesn’t mean it’s permanent!

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft

Even for those with more mild symptoms there are a few quick and easy DIY solutions. For example, head outside during daylight even if it’s not bright and sunny.Double points for hitting the slopes or going for a jog — activity can also ease depression. Complex carbs, within moderation, can also help brighten outlook — though an expanding waistline probably will not.

The Takeaway: Head outdoors and get active to kick winter blues!

Why Does That Work?

Read on for the 411 on how exercise spurs a sunny disposition.

Fun Fact:

Three-quarters of SAD sufferers are women, and it also occurs mainly in adults under 30.