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From Gloomy to Glowing: Strategies for Overcoming Seasonal Depression

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

By: Laura Wiley

As evening descends, you look outside your window, hoping to see a warm glow across the horizon. Once a golden amber, the sky slowly turns into a starry night. Amidst the serene scene, you feel a yearning for motivation. It’s in these moments that the silent struggle within, often experienced by individuals with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) becomes apparent.

Now, let’s delve into what Seasonal Affective Disorder is.

What is seasonal affective disorder?

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that happens during certain seasons of the year, most commonly in fall or winter.

Seasonal Depression, a silent companion during the winter season is hard to navigate. If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, here are some things to help relieve symptoms.

Spent time outdoors

Make a habit of taking walks and getting fresh air. A change of scenery can brighten your mood.

Vitamin D

Add vitamin D to your diet. Vitamin D. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it can help with mood regulation and positively impact your mental well-being. Spend time outside when it’s sunny for 5-30 minutes. Sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D.  

Social Connections

Make plans with friends and family. Being social can help brighten your mood. Create a support network to share your feelings and ways others can help support you.

Move your body

Make sure to move your body. This doesn’t have to be a workout; it could be dancing to your favorite music or walking in nature.  

Improve your sleep schedule

Maintain a consistent sleep routine. This can positively influence your mood and energy levels.

Plan activities you enjoy

Plan and engage in activities that bring you joy. Try a new hobby you have been waiting to delve into. Doing things, you love can uplift your mood.

Try relaxation techniques

Experiment with meditation or deep breathing. Mindfulness can reduce stress and enhance emotional well-being.

Light Therapy

Consider light therapy. Exposure to a lamp with a high measure of illuminance can create a chemical change in the brain, lifting your mood.

Therapy and counseling

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know is affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder. In crisis, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988 or visiting 988lifeline.org.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and there is support for those navigating Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Laura Wiley

Hampton U '25

Hi, My name is Laura Wiley. I am a third-year journalism major from Baltimore, Maryland. When she’s not writing she is shopping, drinking chai, and doing yoga.