Credit: justin molle(Flickr)

The arrival of winter can also highlight the presence of a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when a person's mood turns gloomy along with the temperature and daylight hours.

The disorder could make a person feel lethargic and crave carbohydrate-rich fatty foods, Associate Professor Greg Murray from Swinburne University said.

'While winter SAD is most common in the northern hemisphere and appears to be rare in our temperate climate, research has shown that around one in 300 of the Australian adult population experiences SAD-like symptoms,' said Dr Murray, who is convenor of clinical psychology programs at the Melbourne-based university.

'There is a trend for Australians to report lowered mood and energy levels in winter compared to the warmer months, but there are many ways to ease the symptoms.'

Dr Murray said at its most extreme form, SAD was recognised as a type of recurrent depression.

People suffering a winter-time bout of depression should not put off seeking professional help, he said.

Otherwise, he offered some tips on battling SAD in its milder forms.

Dr Murray said sunlight was a natural mood enhancer, and people should aim for at least one hour of outdoor light each day, preferably in the morning.

Social activities tended to fall away during winter, affecting mood and energy levels, so a Winter Solstice or Christmas in July dinner party might provide some light relief.

Consider a gym membership during the colder months, Dr Murray said, and otherwise try to keep as active as possible.

The presence of colds and flu also made it harder to remain as productive as during the warmer months.

'For some people, acceptance of this natural rhythm is an important part of winter wellbeing,' Dr Murray said.

'Although for most of us the mood and energy changes in winter can be addressed with these simple strategies, we should keep in mind that depression at any time of year can be difficult to shift and may require professional attention.'