With autumn's darkness comes winter blues

As daylight wanes and darkness falls upon Sweden, many will feel a bit more depressed, sluggish and withdrawn. But health experts said most Swedes can combat the winter blues with a little self-care, news agency TT reports.

Once brushed aside by doctors, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is nowadays taken as a serious condition that affects many during the winter months.

Chief of psychiatry at Lund University Hospital Baba Pendse said 90 to 95 percent of Swedes can experience SAD, with 10 percent experiencing less severe problems. Another 2 to 3 percent can require clinical treatment for SAD, such as drugs or light therapy.

Baba Pendse recommended people get outside to soak up as much sunlight as possible during the day.

"Go out and go when it's light out, that usually suffices," he said.

The best remedy, he said, is taking a vacation during the winter to somewhere brighter. For those who can't afford to travel, Baba Pendse said regular walks during the day can help.

"Exercising a half an hour or an hour three times a week, that's enough for lesser trouble," he said.