Avoiding Seasonal Depression
Seasonal depression. I’m sure most of you have either heard or experienced this, but for those of you who haven’t, seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder, is a type of depression that’s related to the seasons, according to Mayo Clinic.
Most people identify this specific time of year or season as the cooler season or simply winter. This is understandable because the colors of the world are fading, the temperatures are dropping, and as it appears, most students are beginning to experience a period of burnout.
Now, it might appear to you readers that I have experienced this so-called seasonal depression, and you would be right; but you would also be wrong because my seasonal depression comes around with the ever-loved season of summer.
I feel like a majority of the population looks at summer with positivity because of the lake days, hours of tanning, and concert-going, but to me, summer means full days of work inside and extremely warm temperatures to the point of being uncomfortable.
While some look at winter as a time of low motivation and loneliness, I see it as an opportunity to wear my favorite article of clothing, sweatshirts, and sit inside doing homework, watching movies, and reading.
Because I thrive in winter, and I know most people are about to experience their seasonal depression, I wanted to take this time to give you all a list of things you can do to ease your seasonal depression and maybe even come to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.
Buy some new seasonal attire.
This can mean a variety of things. Whether you have been looking for an excuse to purchase some new sweatshirts, need a new winter hat or pair of boots, or have a full cart on Shein with all the winter basics, I heavily recommend you get to work.
I know that for me, breaking out my winter clothing after its long hibernation is one of my favorite parts of preparing for the winter season. I love getting to relive the joy I got from the retail therapy that took place when I made the purchase, and I also just relish the feeling I get from knowing that my favorite time of year is just around the corner.
Now, for those of you who lived in warmer climates before making your way to the great state of North Dakota, I have a few recommendations when it comes to the necessary winter gear you will need to make it through what you will eventually know as one of the most trying weather periods of your life.
It is crucial that you have a hat, gloves, and an insulated jacket. These are going to be the determining factors for if you do or don’t trudge your way to class on those really cold days. I also highly recommend having a pair of winter boots and snow pants.
Get some hot chocolate and curl up to do some of your favorite indoor relaxation activities.
I know that for me, this means pulling up my favorite Christmas movies or picking out a book I have been putting off reading.
Yes, I know we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through before we can move on to Christmas by social standards, but I am a die-hard Christmas lover, so I will be starting my Christmas preparation early.
If you are looking to do the same, I recommend you watch my favorite Christmas movies: Home Alone plus its sequels, the Jim Carrey version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and all of the Santa Claus movies. These are some of my family’s household Christmas necessities, so you should definitely check them out.
If you want to add a little extra spice to your luxurious relaxation experience, make sure to light a candle: unless you’re in the dorms, in which case just don’t let anyone know. An alternative for candles can be plugging in Christmas lights. I don’t know why, but the serotonin I get from the seasonal lights is irreplaceable.
Make sure to take part in some snow sports.
Once the snow comes, and it is inevitable, make sure to participate in some snow sports.
Since I was a kid, I have always enjoyed playing in the snow. Sledding, building snow forts, or snow people, and nailing my siblings with snowballs when they least expected it.
“Snow sports,” as I like to call them, are just so healing for the inner child, so no matter how marshmallow-like you feel, suit up in your hat, gloves, coat, snow pants, and winter boots, and find a couple of friends who are down to play outside for a few hours.
Yes, you will eventually have icicles of snot hanging from your nose and will feel twenty pounds heavier after you’ve become completely soaked through from the snow, but the innocent happiness you will feel after will remind you of playing in the snow during recess with your childhood friends.
No matter what you decide to do, I know you won’t regret it.
Now, I am by no means saying that partaking in these activities will cure you, but it will definitely provide a little bit of a distraction. I know that when I am overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and loneliness, keeping myself busy is exactly what I need.
From my experience, every season is what you make of it, and if you romanticize all the fun and childish activities you will have the ability to partake in during this time of cold temperatures and glistening white snow, that seasonal depression you experience every year might alleviate a little bit.
Trust me when I tell you that trying at least one of these things on my list is going to completely change your mood for at least that day. Don’t get me wrong, you are still going to have those periods when everything seems gray and dreary, but if you try to romanticize not only winter but your life just a little bit, you are going to find a lot more fulfillment in yourself.
So, get that new outfit, give yourself that time to relax, and go out and play in the snow because there is not a doubt in my mind that if you try to make your day feel a little less soul-sucking, it will be.