When February rolls around, some people start getting tired of winter. It’s been cold since November, and thoughts of spring are starting to infiltrate everyday life. The temperature is low, the winds are strong, and the sun is barely out. The winter can give a lot of people Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Also known as the “winter blues,” the Mayo Clinic’s website describes SAD as
type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
US News Health reports “women ages 20 to 40 are twice as likely as their male counterparts to be diagnosed with SAD, likely owing to a hormonal link. But men aren’t immune—especially if depression runs in their family.”
In the winter months a lot of people don’t go outside for their exercise (running, biking, etc.) and sometimes stop doing physical activities they enjoy. Janis Anderson, a psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says that exercise indoors is a great way to combat SAD. Exercising in the morning (if your schedule permits) is even better. The Ray has a lot of windows to let light in so you can get a lot of natural light. Try running on the top floor track where you can see the skyline!
Also make sure you are heating healthy. US News says to “Gravitate toward proteins and low-glycemic foods i.e., foods that don’t send blood sugar levels soaring.” It can be challenging, but planning your meals in advance (such as the day before) can be beneficial. Pre-pack a lunch if you spend all day in the loop (or don’t have time to go home while at the Lincoln Park campus).
Winter quarter is hard because we can’t go outside to do our homework. Papers, tests, and projects keep us busy enough, but it is important to care of your mental health. Consider seeing a doctor or therapist. DePaul offers University Counseling Services to students if you want to talk to a professional.