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Kansas City is about to get colder and darker. Here's how to cope with seasonal depression

Closeup image of two orange maple leaves against the sky. The sun is shining through them.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
With the changes in temperature and length of daylight, chlorophyll breaks down and the green disappears from leaves. The red in maple leaves comes from anthocyanin -- an anti-oxidant that also gives fruits and vegetables bright red colors.

The clocks will "fall back" this weekend, and as the days get shorter and colder, it should be a priority to keep up your mental health. One Kansas City psychologist shares tips to lessen the effects of seasonal depression.

Seasonal affective disorder, commonly referred to as seasonal depression, affects about 5% of adults in the United States and is linked to a biochemical imbalance related to less sunlight and a shift in an individuals daily routine.

"Be proactive," says Amy Sickel, director of clinical psychology at Kansas City University.

Sickel recommends starting the day earlier, getting outside during the lunch hour, exercise and scheduling social time with friends.

"If we think about it as, 'There's something I can do to feel better,' then we're going to be more motivated and we can use that hope that we have now."

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline number is 988.

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