The holidays are supposed to be a happy time spent with loved ones and good food, but I often feel drained, mopey, and irritable. Or just plain sad. Why is that, and how can we stop it? Here are a few reasons as to why our moods get darker as the weather gets colder: Time change — With the change in time and the season, there is significantly less sunlight for you to go out and enjoy. Being in the dark really does affect your mood, so make it a point to take advantage of it whenever you can and to load up on vitamin d-rich foods! Getting out in the morning light and spending time outside can do wonders! Overeating — The holiday season is just one dinner party after the other (not to mention treats at work, special seasonal snacks to take advantage of, etc) Because of this, there is a tendency for all of us to eat too much, which can lead us to feel worse about our body image and ourselves. Lack of sleep — You're busy! There are people to see, cookies to bake, shopping to do, gifts to wrap. Who has time for sleep? Just remember that you are not a super human, and the holidays aren't a magical time when its okay to not sleep for days. Lack of sleep will only make you feel tired and lethargic and will lead to you feeling irritable and sensitive. Lack of exercise — There are plenty of excuses not to exercise during the holidays. Bad weather and lack of time are two of the biggest. Exercise is a serious mood-booster so even if you just do 50 jumping jacks in the morning you'll be better off! Lack of time for oneself — The holidays are a time for family and friends, but don't forget yourself. We all need our own amount of alone time, so pay attention to your limits and give yourself a break. The holidays are a great time to reflect, reassess and make plans for the future.