SAD, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, impact 15 million adults in the United States, and contrary to popular belief it is more than just the winter blues. So what is it and how is it different?
SAD is a form of depression that occurs seasonally while almost everyone, myself included, will feel down in the dumps during winter, not everyone will feel it to the severity someone with SAD will. This disorder can impact your ability to cope with daily activities, appetite, sleep patterns, energy levels, and your ability to focus.
SAD impacts the college-aged population the most, making us students particularly vulnerable. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are already dealing with isolation from friends and family, and anxiety about what the future may hold for us.
This is a lot for anyone, especially during the winter months if you’re dealing with SAD. There are healthy coping strategies and resources available to you if you’re struggling.
Don't ignore how you're feeling.
It’s important to acknowledge you’re struggling rather than ignoring the problem in the hopes it goes away on its own.
Talk to friends or family about it.
Consider having a weekly hangout sesh with your roomies, where you all socialize safely. If not in person, a ZOOM or phone call can work just as well. Call your parents and friends. It’s important to remember you have people who care about you.
Spend some time in the sun.
It’s hard to spend time outside when it’s cold and even harder to soak up some vitamin D when you’re covered from head to toe just to stay warm. Consider purchasing a sun lamp and sitting with it on for 10-15 minutes per day or getting some vitamin D supplements.
You can reach Winona State Counseling Services through email, or phone call. Their contact information is:
Call: (507) 457-5330
Appointment hours are Monday–Friday 8am–4:30pm
Crisis hours are Monday–Friday 8am–4pm
You can find counseling services in the Integrated Wellness Complex Room 222.
It’s been a hard couple of years for everyone. We’re all struggling through life for the first time during unprecedented times. Be kind to yourself and remember you aren’t alone in your struggles.