Beating the winter blues


Street sign warning for cold weather blues ahead

   Get ready to bundle up because winter is almost here, but as well as taking care of your physical needs in this chilly weather, don’t forget about your mental needs too! As the days darken, sometimes so does our mood, and this can be described as seasonal depression. Seasonal depression, or S.A.D., is related to the season change when there is less sunlight during that time of year. Some symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, social withdrawal, anxiety, and more according to Mayo Clinic. It’s vital to keep your spirits up during these times, and here are some ways how!

   First things first, with the change in time and length of days, being on top of your sleep schedule is very important. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day as well as having nighttime and morning regimens gives your body a consistent schedule to rely on. This sets an internal schedule for the chemicals in your body so that they can be at normal levels instead of being spiked by changes such as irregular sleep patterns. 

   After achieving a hearty eight hours of sleep, make sure to include some physical activity in your everyday life. Physical activity has been proven to increase mood and reduce symptoms for things like stress and anxiety. If committing to a big workout is difficult for you, try to set small goals throughout your day such as setting aside ten minutes to do jumping jacks.

    “I really enjoy biking, especially on sunny days,” Senior Muhser Tha You Soe exclaimed when asked about this topic

   As mentioned earlier, winter days are known for getting darker due to daylight savings. A lot of our mood is affected by weather and with less light, it can get a little dreary. Exposing yourself to natural light and going outside more often has shown to improve your mood. Chemically, time spent outside increases both melatonin production and vitamin D levels while also working to balance serotonin activity and your circadian rhythm. Since we are still in a global pandemic, if going outside is not an option or preference of yours, even sitting by the window will bring the sun’s benefits. You can even receive light from special light boxes to use inside!

   While also focusing on basic physical wellness, it’s essential to remember to reach out to your support system. Loneliness is a constant obstacle throughout the winter due to things like people staying inside because of cold weather or surges in work or school work load before the holidays. Due to these factors, it can be difficult to reach out to loved ones, but there are always opportunities to stay in touch with those dear to you. Whether it be a friend, family member, counselor, or teacher, it’s always healthy to talk about your feelings or whatever is on your mind. If you feel you are without a support system, there are many resources available to assist in providing help. Seeking professional help is always an option and consulting with your doctor can help. 

   Even though the fall and winter seasons can get down, make sure to take pleasure in the many fun activities in our community! Our very own school, Broughton, has many available activities like the Sadie Hawkins and Queen of Hearts dances as well as sports games and concerts during the cold months. Make sure to stay in touch with those close to you and continue to go outside as we await a warm spring season!