BLOG: How to cope with the winter blues

The weather and seasonal patterns can have a big effect on the way we feel. When the sun hasn't been out for awhile, its cold outside and the days are getting shorter, it's easy to start to feel a little down.

Seasonal affective disorder or SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons.
it could be attributed an overproduction of the hormone melatonin which is produced more as the days get shorter. This happens during the late fall and winter months. Melissa Lewis with the Mental Health Association Oklahoma says a few signs of SAD can be sluggishness, sleeping too much or too little, problems at work, feeling low, and low energy. 

It's interesting to note that SAD is diagnosed 4 times more often in women than men, and younger adults have a higher risk than older adults. Also, living further north, away from the equator, can increase your chances of SAD as well.

If you're feeling the winter blues, staying active, exercising regularly, getting enough Vitamin D, and even light therapy can be helpful, as well as surrounding yourself with supportive people. Also reaching out to professionals through dialing 211 or contacting the Mental Health Association Oklahoma can be tools at your fingertips.