It’s that time of the year; fall is coming to a halt and winter is making its way in. Unfortunately for several people, the cold weather is accompanied by feelings of sadness. Seasonal depression can be a nuisance. However, you shouldn’t let it get to you. Wondering how?

Here are ten simple ways you can maintain a good mood throughout the depressive season.

1. Invest your time in a new hobby

When winter rolls in, you don’t have to spend the entirety of your day snuggled up in bed. Rather than just switching between television series and guzzling down mug after mug of hot chocolate, take up a new hobby. You can spend your time reading or cooking. You can take classes for learning a new skill such as graphic designing or painting. You can even start blogging and perhaps make a few bucks that way without even having to leave the comfort of your home.

2. Make sure you eat well

Sure, we all love junk food. But did you know that fast food can actually bring about an increase in depression? This is why you should consume a healthy diet. Also, make sure that your diet comprises of an ample amount of vitamin B which enables the increased production of serotonin. Serotonin helps balance mood. Consume foods such as apple, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, etc. as these foods help improve mood.

3. Get enough light

The day ends sooner in winter and people also tend to stay indoors more. However, if you want to combat the winter blues, try to spend a portion of the day out in the sun. This way, your body will get a good dose of sunlight and it will also get its required amount of vitamin D. During the sunny hours of the day, open the curtains to let the light in. You may also invest in a SAD light box which can help improve your mood. Avoid staying in the dark for hours on end.

4. Listen to upbeat music

The music you play also determines your mood and vice versa. It has an impact on the brain. Listening to sad tunes will only make you feel gloomier. This is why you should play music that promotes feelings of cheerfulness. Research also shows that playing cherry music can improve your mood not only in the short term but in the long-run as well. In fact, there is even such a thing such as music therapy. You can go for this therapy as well.

5. Go for exercise

Working out can also improve your mood. Studies say that you should walk at a fast pace at least for 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day for three days in a week. Exercise can help fight off symptoms of depression. If running on the treadmill does not seem like an encouraging idea with the sofa right beside it, join the gym. Exercising with a couple of other people will also be motivating. Alternatively, you can just enroll in fun Zumba classes.

6. Plan a vacation

If you find yourself feeling down during winter, you can beat the blues by planning a vacation during this time. Even if you plan a vacation for when winter ends, the planning part would also be enough to make you feel happier. Go vacay at a sunny place. You can either go with friends, family or experience something new on your own. While the season cannot leave you, you can move away from it conveniently.

7. Practice yoga or meditate

Another way to improve your mood is by practicing yoga. You can start your day with either yoga or meditation. Both of these offer several health benefits other than improving your mood by inducing feelings of calmness. The stretching will also wake your muscles up and keep you from feeling unproductive and lazy. You can start by downloading videos. The best part? You will also be able to tone down your physique.

8. Sleep well

Don’t cut down on sleep. If you find yourself up at night, improve your sleep routine. Lack of sleep is also a major cause of frustration and can introduce a whole lot of health issues. Sleep loss can contribute to weight gain, fatigue, etc. Don’t let winters mess with your brain and make you sleep for way more hours than recommended either. Oversleeping is a vice just like under-sleeping is. In fact, sleeping too much is actually also a mental disorder.

9. Write things down

Start journaling. You can write down whatever you are feeling and be able to deal with it. You can also began making a to-do list and then work on crossing all the items off that list. Similarly, you can also learn new words and write them down. This can become a productive hobby of yours as well. If you are a person who likes cooking, doodling or making up stories, jot down all your ideas on paper. Once all written, you can start working more on them.

10. Be kind to yourself

Last but not the least don’t forget to be kind to yourself. If you find yourself slacking too much somedays, know that it is okay. If you find yourself feeling too sad at times, go discuss your feelings with a nice friend. If your emotions feel out of hand then go for therapy. You can go for light therapy, music therapy, behavioral therapy and so many other options. Don’t try to solve matters on your own if depression persists or gets severe; consult a professional.