When winter rolls around, it can feel as if someone hit the dimmer switch on your happiness. Dreary days and scant natural light can be murder on your motivation and alter your circadian rhythm, leaving you short on the mood-boosting hormone serotonin.
In fact, some 15 million people (three-fourths of them women) suffer from a depressive condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can have symptoms like low energy, carb cravings, weight gain, and dwindling sex drive. SADs severity can vary from totally manageable to life- disrupting, says Michael Terman, Ph.D., director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center. Here’s how to keep up your summer spirit when the sun disappear.