Darkness descends early now, and days are suddenly shorter. Are you experiencing feelings of hopelessness, anguish, or tiredness this time of the year? Is it increasingly difficult to get out of bed? Are the things that usually interest you no longer fun? If this sounds like you there is a risk that you are suffering from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. The good thing is that you are not alone and that there are things you can do to help avoid or decrease it.
Research shows that light therapy can be effective when dealing with SAD. However, as a student, not everyone can afford to try this method. Therefore, we have gathered a few tips to help you.
Try and step outside in order to get your daily dose of oxygen and vitamin D.
Do not underestimate the power of going for a walk. At least 30 minutes a day is recommended. Why not go for a walk together with your friends?
Do not forget to eat! And strive to have regular meals. A good idea is to meal prep the night before, so you have everything ready when rushing off to school. Keep in mind that it is also common to experience larger cravings for carbs and sweets during SAD, so a tip is to have healthy snacks at hand. PS. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to indulge.
Sleep (we cannot stress this enough!)
See this as your opportunity to finally fix that sleep schedule that has been messed up since high school! Many people sleep a lot this time of the year. However, no matter how much they sleep, they still feel very tired. Do your best to keep to certain routines – go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
When you are feeling down, it can be hard to socialize, however, it is important to try and do it anyway. Spend time with people who make you feel good, and people who you feel like you can be yourself with.
We cannot forget to mention the importance of reaching out to your loved ones and looking after both them and yourself. Many of us experience milder forms of seasonal mood changes due to lack of sunlight, making it increasingly difficult to manage schoolwork and everyday chores. Talk to your friends and the people around you if you feel that life gets overwhelming. Moreover, you can always seek professional help or turn to student health for support.