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How to Avoid the Seasonal Blues

Bummed out and blue that that the cold, winter weather is soon approaching?

CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton shed more light on how to deal with seasonal effective disorder or S.A.D with "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith.

According to Ashton, about 10 to 20 percent of the population may suffer from varying degrees of S.A.D.

Some noticeable symptoms include: feeling like a different person during this time of the year, or it might be subtle with little mood changes that involves irritabilty, a change in appetite, or weight gain or weight loss.

"But if you know that it affects you, boy, people will tell you, this is not a great time of the year for them," Ashton said.

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No one likes all of this darkness, especially when they get out to see it's dark outside, Smith points out.

So what can we do about it?

"The most popular thing really is called light therapy," Ashton points out.

She showed Smith a light that you can order online or purchase in a store and it's supposed to simulate the light exposure you get with more natural daylight outside.

Ashton suggests that people turn them on they wake up in the dark and to be around it for about 30 minutes.

"They are very small and architecturally usable," she added.

What else can do you?

"Other than that exercise is a big one, (it's) preferable to do it outdoors. People may not feel like exercising this time of the year but can really help boost your mood and get your body back on track," she said.

Ashton also tells people to get out there -- even if it's cold.

"People might be more predisposed to being socially isolated during the winter months. That's actually opposite of what you want to do. You want to surround yourself with a good social network, even though it takes more effort, get out there and be with your friends," she said.

"I think that means party!" Smith said.

"Party in the daylight!" Ashton added.

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