Combatting the Winter Time Blues

Seasonal Depression may leave students feeling unmotivated or sad in the winter months

Josie Swagart

Seasonal Depression may leave students feeling unmotivated or sad in the winter months

With limited daylight, frosty temperatures, faded colors, and bare trees, you might start feeling under the weather. According to Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly known as “seasonal depression,” is defined as a form of depression triggered by changes in daylight and weather that occur primarily in the winter. This type of depression usually starts to ascend around late fall and descend all the way into early spring. 


It is important to address how seasonal changes may make you feel in order to find healthy ways to cope with the cold winter months. Here is how members of our Rockville community get through the depths of winter:


Listening to music

Researchers have proven that listening to upbeat music that you enjoy can help reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress levels. According to Harvard Health Publishing, music therapy is often used to help minimize symptoms of depression patients experience and can overall improve a person’s quality of life. 


“I am from Jamaica and I am still not used to these harsh changes of seasons,” sophomore Marshae Mccallum said. “Music helps to elevate my mood, especially in moments where I feel like the thoughts are getting the best of me during the winter.” 


Music can be beneficial in lifting one’s spirits during challenging times. Music plays a large role in emotion and feelings. You can regulate your mood based on the music that you choose to listen to. Whether it means listening to your favorite throwback hits, or some classic tunes, you can enhance positive emotions and combat negative ones based on your song choices. 


Physical activity 

Whether it simply means taking your dog on a quick walk around the neighborhood or attending an evening exercise class, moving your body has been proven to lift your mood. 


“Doing track is beneficial for my mental health during the winter because it keeps me physically active, and it surrounds me with supportive teammates,” freshman Zia Elosh said.


Additionally, engaging in physical activity triggers your body to release the “feel-good hormones,” or endorphins. The release of endorphins results in an uplifted mood and can even alleviate pain. 


Surrounding yourself with people you enjoy

Relationships and friendships are vital for protecting one’s mental health, especially during dreary dark winter days. Friends can help keep each other grounded and prevent one from feeling lonely and isolated. 


“Isolating yourself during the colder seasons is harmful,” junior Eva Villatoro said. “You want to be with the people that make winter less lonely and depressing.”


On average, 10 million Americans suffer from seasonal depression each year. This condition may inhibit a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks and enjoy their loved ones, which is why it should not go unaddressed.  While reaching out for help might feel difficult with the stigma that surrounds Seasonal Affective Disorder and other mental disorders, it is important to remind yourself that you are never alone.