How to Survive Seasonal Depression Season

Winter term: a time for snow, hot chocolate from the Brew, and seasonal depression. Do you ever notice that you feel more blue than usual around this time of year? If so, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short. SAD is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of year. It typically lasts between fall and winter, then fades by spring or summer. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, having low energy, feeling worthless, loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, trouble sleeping, and difficulty concentrating.

Enduring this term is stressful enough with coursework and other responsibilities, especially if you feel like your mental health is declining. Depression isn’t something anyone can just get over, but you can still find ways to cope during SAD season. Your feelings are valid, and your well-being is important. Hopefully, one of these options can help you survive.

  1. Practicing Self Care:  Are you eating enough? Drinking water? Practicing good hygiene? Exercising? Getting enough sleep? Make sure you’re checking off these little things each day. Taking care of your body is one step towards taking care of your mind.
  2. Meditating:  Take at least ten minutes out of your day to meditate. Find a quiet environment. From there, sit down. Close your eyes. Take deep breaths. Focus on your breathing. Focus on your body. Let go of everything.
  3. Light Therapy:  You can invest in a Lux light therapy lamp, which emits bright light that imitates sunlight. Basically, you stare at the lamp for a set amount of time. The idea is that the lamp simulates sunlight and affects your brain chemistry. These lamps are quite pricey, but if you have the money for it, it’s worth it.
  4. Counseling:  Sometimes you can’t heal by yourself and that’s okay. In that case, reach out for help. Augustana College offers counseling services in Founders Hall. For more information, check out their page.