When I first began to notice that the change in seasons affected me, I was in my 40s. Once the skies turned gray and fall stripped the trees of their leaves, I’d sometimes experience crying spells and a total lack of energy, along with extreme fatigue.

Often, I’d just want to curl up in bed and stay inside. The longer these feelings lasted, the worse my symptoms became. In addition, I’d lose my appetite and be totally disinterested in food.

After I realized there was a pattern to these episodes, I began doing research online. That’s when I first became aware of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The symptoms described online matched what was happening to me. But even though I didn’t experience these symptoms all the time, I still hated feeling sad if I didn’t have to.

Then I read about lifestyle remedies to try. When the medical site I visited suggested I exercise more often, get to sleep earlier and spend more time outside, especially on sunny days, I was ecstatic. The site also suggested people affected by seasonal affective disorder eat more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and walnuts.

Once I tried these suggestions, I saw a change. I was depressed less often and not so inclined to withdraw from family and friends.

In addition, I made it a point to always try to maintain a positive attitude at all times. Now, I feel so much better whatever the season might be.