Welcome back, everyone! As the days get a little shorter and the nights grow a little colder, it can be really hard to see the warmth in our lives. This can be a dark time for a lot of people, literally and emotionally. Seasonal affective disorder is extremely common and affects a wide range of different people. Luckily, there are some great ways to combat this.
For those of us that fall prey to seasonal depression—and for those of us that experience a worsening in our already subpar mental health during this time of year—one of the most important tools at our disposal is communication. This is common (extremely common), and sitting down and being honest with someone you are close with is one of the best ways to feel better. You don’t have to be looking for a solution to need to talk something out. Sometimes, you just need to expel all of the feelings you’ve been bottling up, and having someone be there, just to listen and maybe relate, can help you feel heard and valued when you’re struggling.
Another great way to pull yourself out of a seasonal slump is through light. This seems relatively simple, but seasonal affective disorder is widely attributed to the decrease in sunlight and warmth during the fall and winter seasons. Light therapy is an innovative way to mimic the natural light you might be craving. Something many of us take for granted can actually alter our brain chemistry.
However, you might not need to go to the extent of a fancy lightbox for help this winter. It’s so easy to want to curl up in a dark room and forget the world when you’re in this headspace, but instead, push open your curtains. Rather than turning on a light to see your homework, open the blinds to reveal some natural light. I also like to create my light by lighting candles in the evenings. They have a softer, more natural glow that can warm up a room and a mood.
So, whether the light you need this winter is a candle, some extra sun, or a really great listener, remember that you’re not alone in this battle. Reach out to open those curtains and to check on a friend that might be in the same situation as you. Try to stay warm and positive as the semester progresses. See everyone next week!