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It's been a tough winter. After weeks of frigid temperatures and a snowstorm that slammed New Jersey's coastal communities, many of us are counting down the days to the first day of spring.

For some New Jerseyans, though, the winter months aren't just about bundling up and driving in snow and ice. For some, it's much more serious.

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. People impacted by SAD typically start to notice symptoms once the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. For most people, SAD starts in the fall and continues into the winter months. According to the American Family Physician, 6 percent of people suffer from severe SAD, while another 10 to 20 percent experience mild SAD.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to battle against SAD. According to Debra Wentz, president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addictive Agencies, there are a number of things people suffering from SAD can do to help ease the symptoms:

  • Exercise
  • Light therapy
  • Vacationing in a warm, sunny climate
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Eat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet

So if you're looking for ways to chase away the winter blues, click on the podcast player above to hear our discussion, where we include even more tips to help you get through the rest of the winter.

Does winter have you down? Let us know what you do to beat these humdrum days of winter and get your glass feeling half full! Email us at

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Supporting your kids in adulthood. PLUS: Are you in a healthy relationship? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about hidden gems throughout New Jersey, bailing on friends, and our immediate turn-offs.

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