What to do to keep the Holidays Light and Bright

What to do to keep the Holidays Light and Bright

Snow. Snow Days. Christmas lights. Candles. Decorations. Everybody loves that exciting and cozy feeling that winter brings – in the beginning.

But then with the stress of semester exams and with less sunshine, seasonal depression can creep in.

Seasonal depression also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is triggered by the change of seasons.

It most commonly begins in late fall when the sun isn’t out for as long. Many people struggle with seasonal depression, but there are solutions and ways to help you feel like summer all winter long.

Wende Johnson, one of our school counselors explains the science behind it.

“You know when it’s a sunny day and you go outside and you get even a few minutes of sunshine,” Johnson said, “it makes this huge difference. But in the winter times when there isn’t as much sunshine there are many things you can do instead. You can take vitamin C to boost your immune system and vitamin D which your body normally produces when you’re exposed to sunlight.”

It is shown that getting outside in the limited sunshine can boost your emotional and physical health.

School Social Worker Wesbrook Walker II said rest is also important to combat SAD.

“Rest is hugely important especially because you have a lot of things going on in your life like school, sports, responsibilities,” Walker said, “so you need to prioritize your time and make sure to take care of yourself.”

Although sleeping is important, sleeping too much can make you have low energy, lose interest in activities you used to enjoy, and lower your self esteem. Light therapy is another tool that might help.

“There is also something called ‘light therapy’ where there is a full spectrum light in which people can start their day off sitting in front of this light and it triggers your brain into having more connection with a regular circadian rhythm and creates a chemical change in your brain that can boost your mood,” Walker said.

Sometimes just a simple mindshift can help.

“This past weekend I was able to hang out with my friends and watch my friends who are on the hockey team play. This kept my mind off the stress of school and the anxiety of exams coming up,” Olivia Shaw ‘24 said.

Keeping yourself busy and excited for things to come can ease your mind from this depression. If you struggle with seasonal depression, always know you’re not alone.

Everyone finds happiness in different activities, so it’s important to stay open-minded to new solutions. However, if you still need help our counselors are always available.