Opinion

How to Beat Seasonal Depression

By Kayla Lupedee

kayla.lupedee@spartans.ut.edu

As the autumn months roll around, most are over the moon for the spooky season to commence. However, something scarier tends to sneak up on many people during these months: seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression. 

As the days get darker earlier and the temperature loses its warmth, many start slipping into a funk that almost matches the season: dark, cloudy, and cold. This is often characterized by oversleeping, losing an interest in typical activities, difficulty concentrating, and change in appetite. 

While Florida, as well as other warmer states, are probably less likely to experience the extreme brunt of seasonal depression, it is still prevalent and an important topic to take notice of. Although 60 degrees doesn’t seem cold to others, it is definitely a time to see Tampa residents start bundling up. 

Seasonal depression often affects the work people are capable of getting done. Since there is a major loss of interest and a decrease in energy, it feels harder than usual to complete the work that may have been a breeze a few months earlier. 

Many who have experienced major depressive disorders tend to downplay the seriousness of SAD. Or, some people tend to overplay seasonal depression, and make claims that they are suffering from it just from having one sluggish day. 

The seriousness of seasonal depression is not something to make light of. It is important to take note of these symptoms early on in order to mediate them before they turn into major depression, which will stick around even in the warmth. 

Here are some steps to take to take control of seasonal depression before it takes control of you:

1.    Get outside: Taking a walk outside for even just about a half hour could make a huge difference in someone’s day. This would likely be best in the morning or any time during the day when the sun is at its peak. Having the sun on your skin, even if the air feels brisk, will brighten up the start of your day.

2.    Set a schedule: It is easy to get off track of assignments without a schedule planned out for completion. By setting a schedule to get your work done, you will be more likely to follow it and have more motivation to get it done. This will prevent any sluggishness in doing work.

3.    Meditation: Practicing mindfulness and meditation could be a great way to start your day with positive intentions. Meditating will calm any negative thoughts or feelings by regulating your body’s rhythms and boosting your mood through relaxation. 

4.    Nutrition: Setting up a healthy diet for yourself will help make you feel more energized. During these colder months, many are more likely to crave carbohydrates, but it is important to create healthy balanced meals to keep your body full, happy, and empowered.

While it may feel draining to pull yourself out of the rut that is seasonal depression, these small aspects of your day-to-day routine could entirely turn around those feelings. It is important to always take care of yourself above anything else. 

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