Everyone loves to complain about winter. It’s cold. The howling wind and below-freezing temperatures chap your skin and numb your face.

You have to wear so many layers just to go outside that getting ready takes like 20 minutes! Then there’s all the ice you have to avoid slipping on, and all the snow you have to shovel just to get anywhere. Yuck!

No wonder so many people just want to sleep winter away

When winter comes, we have an instinctual urge to hunker down, stay bundled up, and stay indoors. It’s almost like an animal response. Our bodies know that when the cold and the dark set in, we just know that it’s time to move a little slower.

Unfortunately for some people, it goes further and can start interfering with their lives and their happiness.

When the winter brings feelings of depression, sadness, and isolation, it’s known as seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, an apt acronym), and it affects millions of people during the dark winter months.

In fact, the farther north from the Equator you go, the more people you’ll find affected by this disorder.

Many people might feel a slump when it starts getting darker earlier and earlier, but for most, a few simple actions can make them feel worlds better. However, for those with SAD, it’s not always so simple.

Luckily, knowing how to identify SAD and to distinguish it from simple cabin fever is the first step in managing it. There are many things you can do, both at home and with the help of a medical professional, to lessen the symptoms and maybe even start liking winter!

Instead of dreading the season, consider this: what if winter, with all its snow, wind, and ice, actually has some hidden benefits for your body and mind? What if winter is actually good for you?

Well, it just might be true! Winter might be cold and wet, but it also has unique benefits that can help lead to a healthier you. Of course, there is one requirement: you have to go outside!

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