If you're feeling unmotivated, drained, and generally blah right now, you're not alone. This time of year can be torturous in our neck of the woods.

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As of today, we're looking at around 11 days straight of cloudy or mostly cloudy weather, and folks are feeling it. Just about everyone I've talked to has brought up the weather, and how it's affecting them.

Ken Yeager, PhD, clinical director of the Stress, Trauma And Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said in an article on their website: "People have a circadian rhythm, or biological clock, that is driven by serotonin and melatonin levels and can be thrown off course by prolonged dreary weather.”

For some people, this can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a kind of depression that affects people especially during the dreary winter months. Diminished sunlight can cause a reduction in serotonin which shifts mood for some. Winter gloom can also affect melatonin, which can make morning motivation tough for some.

So, what can you do to try to dispel the feelings of darkness and doom this time of year?

Photo by brut carniollus on Unsplash
Photo by brut carniollus on Unsplash

Get out of the house

It's cold and damp out there, but simply getting outdoors for a walk can boost your mood. Basic exercise such as walking can elevate endorphin levels which in turn can make you feel more positive.

Natural light is your friend

When the sun does come out again be sure to have all of your curtains open so your home is awash with natural light. Having your home bright for just a little bit during these times. Make sure you catch some of the rays coming in!

Light therapy works wonders

There are many products on the market of various quality and price points that synthesize sunlight. These products, known as light boxes help to boost serotonin levels. An hour a day in front of the light can make a world of difference.

Don't hide from the world

Now is not the time to retreat! Hang out with friends, take some classes, just do something. You'll find that being with others will elevate your mood, and theirs too!

Inquire about vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D supplements are widely available over the counter, or by prescription from your physician. These supplements can help to replace vitamin D production that plummets when the sun goes away to hide.

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