How To Deal With Winter Blues When The Season Has Got You Down — PHOTOS

Gray skies and cold weather getting you down? You're absolutely not alone, which is why I've uncovered exactly how to deal with winter blues. Even if it's hard to pull yourself out of bed, try incorporating even one of the strategies below each day to get you through the season.

According to EveryDay Health, more than half a million Americans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). MayoClinic shared that SAD symptoms often include "irritability, tiredness or low energy, problems getting along with other people, hypersensitivity to rejection, heavy, leaden' feeling in the arms or legs, oversleeping, appetite changes (especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates), and weight gain."

Deborah Pierce, MD, told Everyday Health, "It is important to treat SAD, because all forms of depression limit people's ability to live their lives to the fullest, to enjoy their families, and to function well at work." And beyond the coping strategies below, Mayo Clinic pointed out that you should consider seeking professional help for SAD "if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy [and this] is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation."

Remember the tips below are meant to help you cope, but definitely, definitely talk to a mental health professional if you're really struggling.

1. Find Exercise You Enjoy

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Every time you move around, you're releasing endorphins. Whether it's running, yoga, Crossfit, dancing, or walking your dog, just find some sort of exercise you enjoy and make it a regular part of your weekly schedule.

2. Go Outside

Even though getting natural sunlight is not as easy as it is during the summer, try to bundle up and take a stroll outside when possible to get a mood boost.

3. Get In Omega-3s

PsychCentral advises that omega-3 fatty acids, whether in the form of flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, or capsules create positive effects on emotional health. I personally love adding flax seeds to a smoothie to get my morning dose!

4. Reach For Bright Clothing

Women Ultra Lite Down Jacket, $69.90, Uniqlo

Another PsychCentral tip: Allegedly rocking bright colors instead of the usual black on black on black in winter can help make you feel a little brighter on the inside even if it's cold and gray outdoors.

5. Play Upbeat Music

Similar to the whole wearing bright colors strategy, Real Simple recommends turning on cheerful music to help bring your mood up this season.

6. Stick To A Schedule

This is probably the hardest for me in the winter, but EverydayHealth advises sticking to a standard sleep schedule to avoid staying up all night and binging on carbs. Plus, a regular schedule will ensure you get up and around.

7. Try An Artificial Sunlight Box

Lightphoria, 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp, $59.99, Sphere Gadget Technologies

A bit of a splurge, this sunlight box will mimic the actual effect of sunlight on your mood and WEbMD recommends spending thirty minutes in the morning with it while you're getting around.

Want more tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!

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Images: Pixabay; Franklin Heijnen, Susanne Nilsson, Mattie Hagedorn, FaceMePLS, planetchopstick/Flickr; Courtesy of Brands