Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)–a type of depression most prevalent in colder, darker months–affects roughly 15 million Americans each year. We asked Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a SAD expert and the author of Winter Blues, for tips to thwart it.
Foods like legumes, oats and almonds–which have a low glycemic index–will give your body a long-lasting energy boost.
In addition to talking with a therapist, which has been shown to relieve SAD symptoms, making plans with friends is a great way to avoid feeling isolated.
Rosenthal suggests going for a 20-minute walk early in the morning, when natural light is brightest. There are also special light-therapy boxes that can illuminate an office or a cubicle.
Several studies have found that exercise can alleviate and even prevent depression, likely in part because of the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain.
This appears in the January 18, 2016 issue of TIME.
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