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Seasonal affective disorder this fall and winter: Wise ways to ward off the blues, according to experts

Less sunlight, colder days, longer nights and less time outdoors all can have an impact on your mental well-being, experts say. 

In these later months of the year and especially as we get deeper into fall and start to think about winter, many Americans can experience a change in mood — this is common. 

Health experts revealed why this happens, how we can handle the changes in our psychological, emotional and physiological health, and what to improve symptoms and mood. 

What are the winter blues?

The winter blues, often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), refer to a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months, when there is reduced exposure to natural sunlight, Ryan Sultan, M.D., a researcher and teaching psychiatrist at Columbia University in New York City told Fox News Digital. 

Practice gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal to focus on the positive aspects of life and cultivate a more optimistic outlook, he also said.

Engage in self-care. Engage in practices that you enjoy, such as reading, taking warm baths or pampering yourself in other ways, he suggested.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Erica Lamberg is a contributing reporter for Fox News Digital.

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