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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 Illinois chapter.

Seasonal defective disorder (SAD) is something I have dealt with my whole life growing up in the Midwest, but I’ve found that it always hits harder second semester. The exhaustion and stress of classes on top of the gloomy weather makes summer feel miles away. After years, I’ve learned to not only recognize the pattern, but I’ve developed some guidelines for myself coping with seasonal depression.

dress to impress 

One small easy tip I like to take is incorporating color into my wardrobe. As a lover of bright colors, the Spring and Summer I thrive wearing the brightest pinks, blues, oranges and more. So lately as I feel gloomy, I’ve made it a point to still wear bright tops or paint my nails bright colors instead of wearing my typical grey and navy sweats. It sparks joy in me and inspires me to do things with my day like I do in the summer. Even if you are not a bright color person, being mindful of what you wear in the winter is crucial because it has a big impact on your winter mentality.  


I tend to want to bundle up in my room alone which I find only fuels the slump. Although you may not be able to go out or do activities outside there’s still plenty you can do indoors. My friends and I like planning game nights and movie nights or even going out on Green street and grabbing boba or food occasionally. Making plans to look forward to and break up the mundane cycle of classes and studying can be the thing to push you through the week. 

Stay off sOCIAL MEDIA 

With the cold weather comes a lot of lying in bed and screen time, more so than usual and the mindless scrolling becomes more dangerous in these colder times. Not only do I find myself feeling bad about myself for being unproductive, but I get extra frustrated when I see posts of people in warm places or videos from the summertime. I started recognizing that scrolling only worsened my mood and found other places to channel my energy like reading or even just watching a movie.  


With warm weather it’s easy to find ways to move around. Whether it’s going on walks or even swimming, in fact you might not even notice how often you move around. And in the cold weather it’s that much more important to make the extra effort to get your endorphins pumping each day to boost your mood. Whether it’s going to the gym to work out or something more casual like going to the ARC to play some basketball with friends or doing a yoga video in your room, there are plenty of ways to move around indoors and break the cycle of the slump. 


Finally, as cliche as it sounds, you need to romanticize your life. It’s always the sweltering hot summer days that you long for the days of winter: the ice skating, the hot chocolate, the cozy nights-in where you bundle up in bed or on the couch with a good movie. Those days are now! Remind yourself of the small things that make you look enjoy about the wintertime and embrace them rather than dwelling on the things that you don’t have. 

Rawan El-Bawab

Illinois '26

My name is Rawan, I'm a freshmen at UIUC from Chicago and I'm super excited to be a part of Her Campus! A little about me, I pretty much spend all my free time hanging out with friends, watching movies/TV shows and listening to music.