February 5, 2023

What to do when seasonal depression hits

Do the changing of the fall leaves and the lack of sunshine seem to make you blue?

If so, you may have seasonal depression. According to Everyday Health, seasonal depression doesn’t have an exact known cause, but experts believe that the changing of the season seems to affect our circadian rhythms. 

Signs and symptoms of seasonal depression include feelings of depression, being fatigued, low interest in hobbies, changes in weight and appetite, and sleeping for too long.

On top of dealing with college classes and finals, seasonal depression can really affect students’ overall moods. 

There are plenty of ways to get back on track if you’re feeling a little down because of the cold weather. For one, it is important to have a defined sleeping schedule and a routine. According to an article by PsychCentral, if you sleep in too late into the day it can affect melatonin levels; in turn, sleeping in too late can increase feelings of depression.

Overall, staying positive can help to get rid of the winter blues. Positivity goes a long way, and it will certainly help you to feel better about the dreary weather. Having a routine to stick to is also a great way to keep yourself motivated and happy. Eating a balanced diet and exercising can help contribute to a boosted mood and more energy as well.

It is also good to remember that you will need to take breaks sometimes. You can’t always get everything done in a given day, and that’s perfectly okay. Picking up a new hobby like painting, reading, writing, or playing music is great for one’s mood. Making time for hobbies and fun is very important, especially during the darker times of the season.

PsycheCentral also says that seasonal depression occurs in the winter when people do not get enough light. Therefore, another way to combat seasonal depression would be to increase the amount of natural light that you get by going outside more often.

The best way to get rid of or avoid seasonal depression altogether is to stay connected with family and friends. Isolation seems to be a common symptom of seasonal depression, so staying close with loved ones is essential. 

Lastly, getting engaged with different activities or clubs on campus can help to alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression. There always seems to be something going on around campus. It is so easy to just hop onto the Corq app and register for events!

The Center for Health and Wellness has plenty of resources open to students who feel like they may need some additional support. 

The CHW provides multiple services for students including medical and mental health services. Students who are enrolled in at least one course at the university are eligible for counseling sessions during that semester. 

The CHW’s webpage on their counseling services says that, “The center provides individual, relational and group counseling in addition to outreach programming and consultation services.” The cost of these services are included in the cost of attendance, and students are allowed unlimited counseling appointments. 

Students can obtain a counseling appointment by calling the CHW, or emailing them at chw@capital.edu.

  • Melissa is a junior Professional Writing and Journalism major with the specialization of pre-law. She plans to pursue a degree at Capital's Law School after graduation.

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