Mayo talks Seasonal Affective Disorder as darker months approach

(ABC 6 News) – This Sunday we fall back an hour as daylight saving time comes to an end.

A doctor at Mayo Clinic says this time of year it’s not uncommon for people to feel a bit of the winter blues.

"People will report feeling more blah, down, maybe not always describing it as being sad and depressed per see but just more apathetic, and with that reduction in energy and motivation that can also lead to more social withdrawal and pulling back as well too," Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Clinical Psychologist at Mayo Clinic, said.

Sawchuk says about 15 percent of people feel these symptoms. Some ideas to help brighten your mood he suggests are to keep a regular sleep schedule, watch your diet, increase physical exercise and get enough face time with the sun as you can, or use light therapy.

"Make sure we get a lightbox that is about 10,000 lux intensity of light you want to use that for approximately 20-30 minutes right around that time of year we notice our mood start to gradually decline," Dr. Sawchuk said. It is important to use the lightbox within the first hour of waking up in the morning.

Dr. Sawchuck says if you feel you’re suffering from something a little more than the winter blues, it’s important to have a conversation with your doctor.