Ways to combat seasonal depression

With temperatures dropping and sunlight becoming more and more limited, there is no surprise that Minnesota State University, Mankato students can catch a case of the winter blues, also known as seasonal depression. 

With the lack of warmth and Vitamin D from the sun, days can feel very long and endless when it comes to the winter months. 

Students who are up early and go to school all day only get a limited amount of sunlight, which can make every day feel like one big continuous loop. Not to mention, if you are a student who also has a part-time job afterward or on the weekends, these days can feel as if they’re dragging on.

Seasonal depression is more common than you might think. Every year a number of college students suffer from this seasonal mood fluctuation. Do you ever find yourself having low energy, eating out of boredom or a strong urge to sleep in late? Then you might have the winter blues.

Not being able to enjoy Minnesota’s intense, yet ever-changing, winter months can take a toll on someone’s mental health. Along with the lack of outdoor exercising, in-door exercising does not come close when compared. 

Going from endless possibilities of the outdoors to being cramped in your small and cozy dorm or apartment can be an adjustment. 

Some may take up a hobby to combat the winter blues as it can help kill time and get your mind off the long nights. Hobbies like reading a new book or finding and cooking new recipes on Pinterest is something that can help make the day feel more meaningful.

Eating a healthy diet can also play a huge role in affecting your daily mood. 

When that doesn’t work, light therapy is always another option that MSU’s Counseling Center offers to students. 

Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light box for a designated length of time each day, usually ranging from 20 to 30 minutes. Unlike normal household lighting, the bulbs used in light therapy are more intense and are supposed to mimic the sun.

There is a bright light therapy box located in the Health Education office in Carkoski Room 100 that students are able to make appointments to use. 

Other resources on campus that students can take advantage of are the monthly therapy dog sessions that are available at the Centennial Student Union on campus and counseling sessions offered on campus. 

Although this feeling is normally seasonal, it can make you appreciate the warmer seasons more.

Just know these feelings don’t last, and we as students should support each other and help those who may be struggling.

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