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‘Tis the season for seasonal depression. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know that depression actually lingers around for the whole year, but it just seems to be *enhanced* during late fall/early winter. Due to the lack of Vitamin D we receive during these shortened days (thanks Daylight Savings) we’re more prone to feel depression. Since I’m still riding on this rotating orb in space, I’ve been able to gain some tricks that help me cope with my seasonal depression, and I’ll bestow this knowledge upon you as well.

Depression of any kind, seasonal or not, comes in waves. One day you might wake up and feel totally fine, and the next you can’t even get out of bed to take a shower. During the winter months, we don’t get a lot of sunlight. To combat the depressing early sunsets, I honestly like to spend as much time outside as possible. The only thing that detracts from this coping mechanism is that I hate the cold. I hate being cold, I hate snow and I absolutely despise defrosting my car. However, a severe temperature change in your body can actually ground you. I do this often during the year anyways by washing my face with a hot washcloth, or stepping on the wooden floor of my bathroom, which always manages to be freezing. The same works for snow, the disgustingly low temperature of frozen water can almost snap me back into reality.

Another go-to of mine is to do little cleaning tasks as I can throughout the days. These tasks might be as small as making my bed, or unloading my dishwasher. I notice that my depression typically gets worse when I’m in an unclean space, or when I neglect to clean my personal spaces. People always say that your bedroom is your sanctuary and I thought it was corny until I realized it was true. By having a clean personal space I tend to feel more at peace, and this doesn’t mean you should clean every square inch of your room. I’m simply recommending that you at least put your clothes away, maybe clean off your desk, or just do a load of laundry. Every little thing you can do to help yourself counts, just remember you’re here for you.

Seeing as seasonal depression also makes its appearance around the end of the semester, it’s even harder to keep up with school work and due dates. During this time I especially lack motivation, I’m honestly just tired of school at this point and simultaneously praying for winter break. I always keep a planner to track my assignments, and it helps me feel a little bit better as I can physically mark off something I’ve completed. I also light a candle, shower and get comfortable while I’m trying to study or do homework. This helps me relax and calm down a little bit while working on my assignments. Setting an ambiance for yourself can help aid in focus, and maybe ease your stress a little bit.

Living with depression isn’t easy, especially when it hits a little bit harder during certain seasons. I’ve had days that slowly turn into weeks where I don’t take care of myself as well as I should, but it helps to remind myself I’m not alone. You are not alone. Life just gets the better of all of us sometimes and there’s no shame in admitting that. It just helps to know that even if you feel as if you’ve been in a slump forever, it will pass. Besides, school is almost out for break, then we can relax and regather ourselves before finishing out yet another school year. Hang in there, I believe in you!

Hey there, I'm Emeline! I'm a Kansas native, and a sophomore studying Strategic Communications, with a minor in Creative Writing. When I'm not in lectures, or doing assignments, I spend my free time hanging out with my cat, drinking way too much coffee, or repotting plants. I'm extremely passionate about social issues, as well as writing, and conspiracy theories.
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