Tips on avoiding seasonal depression

Kalen Stanford, Courier Staff

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In my opinion, college students have a very good chance of getting seasonal depression. When winter comes around the sun is less apparent, therefore resulting in less vitamin D. Seasonal depression may affect college students because of the shorter days. The majority of college students may not participate in sports during the winter, meaning they would get less physical activity. When it is cold, we often drive our cars more even physical activity getting to class. Some ways to combat this issue include being aware and making a change. Even though this is much easier said than done, I have some tips for those of us going through it.

In my experience with depression, it gets worse during the winter. The first thing I make sure to do is realize that it is happening. If you stay in bed more, eat less or more and don’t have any motivation to do things, you most likely have it. If you feel these things beginning to take effect, I would suggest getting out of your room/house as much as possible. Even going for a drive or going to walk around Walmart is helpful. In my experience, I get attached to my room, so I make sure to keep myself occupied outside of it. If you have the energy, some people choose to exercise. This is extremely beneficial.

If you have a good connection with your friends, or a support system in general, use them. Ask your friends and family if they have time to hang out and do something in their free time. Spending time with people is important to keep connections outside of your phone and social media. Another option that is always available is the counseling center on campus and the hotlines. Personally, I have used the counseling center many times and they are extremely helpful. They often give you good strategies to keep a positive outlook.

Some of those strategies include making some small goals that you would like to accomplish each week. I make small goals like doing my laundry, cleaning my room and calling my parents. No matter how small the goal is, it helps to keep you on track and it also boosts a little bit of confidence. Another good thing to do is make sure you are eating a colorful meal. Try to get one item from each food group and drink plenty of water. Also remember that alcohol is a depressant and it will not help you feel better in the long run.

If you are feeling down over the winter months, try to stay as active as possible. Talk to someone and do what you need to stay positive. Even though it may be the last thing you want to do, go to class! You will regret missing class over the winter when it gets warm outside and you want to spend the day outside. Remember that it gets better, try to keep a positive outlook and make plans that you get excited for.

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