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Whether you notice it or not, the lack of sunshine and warmth has affects to your health during the Winter. Learn how to get ahead of the game with these tips.

We’ve all started to feel a little more lethargic and tired when the cold weather creeps in, but for some people the cold season can totally affect your life.

The changing seasons can totally affect your life and changes you from an outgoing, energetic person to someone who just wants to crawl home and curl up under a blanket.

While spending more time indoors and doing less exercise is a fairly natural thing to happen as the days get shorter and temperatures drop, if it is affecting your mood or making you feel anxious, stressed or depressed then it needs to be tackled.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or the “winter blues”, is a scientifically proven fact. The problem comes as the human body needs daylight to survive and feel healthy. The darker days and fewer hours of sunlight through the winter can really affect your overall mood.

When light enters the body, we stop producing melatonin which is the body’s natural sleep hormone. That’s why we’re programmed to sleep at night. But without sunlight during the day, some people don’t stop producing melatonin leading to the tired and sluggish feeling.

Your brain also produces serotonin which is the mood-regulating chemical. This goes up and down with things like activity or socializing so as you cut down on work outs or seeing friends in the cold season you could be doing more harm and increasing the effects of the winter blues.

With SAD, it is more than just feeling a little off –colour. Symptoms can be severe and affect your home and working life. You could find yourself overeating and gaining weight, sleeping too much or have trouble staying awake, losing interest in things you would normally enjoy or even becoming irritable and short tempered. Most people just chop it up to being stuck inside during the colder months, not realizing that it affecting them more than they think.

Up to 20% of Americans suffer from SAD and young people or women are the most at risk. This is mostly because of the major fluctuation of hormones they experience in their lifetime, it makes them more susceptible to things like anxiety and depression.

January and February are typically the most difficult months for sufferers of the cold season blues – particularly as it is a time of tightening budgets after the holidays and also because there’s less sunlight during those months. Vitamin D is a direct source of “happiness” so the lack of it has some side effects.

Even taking a holiday can set you off. If you escape to a tropical beach for two weeks and head home in the middle of winter, you could soon be finding yourself losing all the relaxation and refreshment from your break.

So how can we make sure we are ready to deal with the cold winter blues or even get rid of them before they happen? Read on to hear five great tips for this winter.

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