Seasonal Affective Disorder On College Campuses

By Paul Marquez

SAN ANTONIO—Could it be more than college stress affecting you, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) could be to blame. SAD is a type of disorder that is related to season changes. Are you finding it difficult to get up for class in the morning? Has the weather changed your mood? We are reaching the end of winter and the effects of this year’s harsh weather can still be felt. For many, spring cannot arrive fast enough. Freshman Monica Salazar says this years weather has affected her mood.

“This year it has been hard for me to get up.” Salazar said.

That is a very common feeling during the winter months. As our body receives less sunlight we want to stay in bed. This year alone in San Antonio it was below freezing for a prolonged period. The last time San Antonio had such harsh weather was in February 2011. As a busy college student, Salazar had to make changes in her daily route. She tells me it has helped her fight off the winter blues. Below are some examples to help those winter blues.

Exercise

Exercising can help fight off the winter blues. Yes, it may be difficult to get motivated to go out in the chilly weather but the benefits outweigh the cost of dealing with the cold. When going out for a run, you will notice your mood change. The natural environment will provide positive energy. This positive energy helps fight the negatives. You do not have to exercise outdoors to receive positive energy. Any actions involving movement will make a difference.

Healthy Diet

Along with exercising, a healthy diet will help with those winter blues. That means throwing away all the stocked up junk food and foregoing take out and fast food. When eating those foods your body is not receiving proper vitamins. To combat the feeling of sluggishness, eat whole foods. Adding vegetables and fruits to your daily diet will help.

Sun

Lastly and most important, sunlight. Take the time to go out and enjoy the sun. Our bodies require sunlight to produce vitamins and minerals. In the winter months we are limited in sunlight and the cold gloomy weather is no fun. When the weather allows it go outside and enjoy lunch in the courtyard to soak in the sunlight. A little bit of sunlight will help you fight feelings of depression.

Remember in a few weeks the days will be longer and the weather a little warmer. The first day of spring is March 20.

There is no shame in asking for help. If you’re feeling depressed or need someone to speak with, please visit Counseling Services located in Providence Hall, room 101.

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