LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — With snowflakes back in the forecast, health leaders are stressing the importance of taking care of both your body and your mind.

If you find yourself feeling down this time of year, you are not alone and may be one of many people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression.

“It happens the same time each year,” said Research Associate Professor at UK Matt Southward. “It kind of starts and then it tends to wrap up around the same time with the change of seasons that it occurs you know, for a couple of years in a row. And it’s not tied to any particular stressor.”

Experts at the University of Kentucky said people typically start feeling the effects of seasonal depression as days get shorter and temperatures drop. Symptoms include having no energy, sleeping too much, or overeating.

Professional help is available to treat these issues, but there are also things you can do yourself to keep everything in check.

“Some things are simply to act in opposite ways to what those urges are,” Southward explains. “So, if you notice the urge to kind of burrow in and just like isolate yourself from other people, really making an effort to reach out to others or to get active in some way.”


Seasonal depression affects roughly 10 million Americans each year. The continued acceptance of talking about one’s mental health battles is what Southward credits for more and more people getting the help they need.

“It’s amazing to have really important people normalize these things,” Southward explained. “It really just enhances the fact that, like, you could be at any level of success and still feel these very human experiences.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or experiencing seasonal depression, you can find resources below: