A SAD Winter


Photograph distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

Colton Mefford, Reporter

Do you ever feel more down in the winter than in the summer? Does the amount of sunlight affect your happiness? Or does the amount of time you spend indoors affect your energy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be experiencing the seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The seasonal affective disorder happens when an individual experiences depression associated with late autumn and winter. With this condition, individuals may also feel like they have less energy and tend to be moodier. It is caused by a lack of sunlight due to shorter days and colder temperatures, which often lead people to stay inside more often. Senior Erik Dachel shared his perspective, saying, “The cold and shorter days are definitely a big part of it. The leafless, dead-looking trees definitely don’t help either.” He explained that he experiences the condition as well and that the lack of greenery impacts him even more.

Senior Ariana Swadley expressed her thoughts, stating, “I feel like there is so much less to do. I don’t do any of the winter activities, so all of my time is just spent inside. It just feels like you’re trapped inside for 3–4 months with nothing to do. It’s definitely easy to just self-isolate, which also contributes to it.”

Although this condition may seem scary and unavoidable, there are various ways to manage it. One good thing about this condition is that it lasts only half a year. However, it does not take away how exhausting it can be for an individual.

First, if you want to help cure it, you could take advantage of the warm days when the sun is outside during the winter. Taking a 10-minute sun bath can help boost your immune system and make you feel better. Another thing you can do is talk to someone you trust and talk them through it. In addition, you can also try working out, keeping your windows open, journaling, or doing light therapy.

Erik Dachel shared ways he combats this condition: “I try to get into the holiday spirit around this time of year. My family is really big into Christmas, so it’s always nice to look forward to that. I also keep myself pretty busy during the winter with extracurriculars.” Keeping oneself busy and anticipating holidays are excellent ways to combat seasonal affective disorder. 

This disorder affects many people but is easily curable. Finding people and exploring new things can greatly impact your energy and attitude. Avoiding self-isolation and staying connected can help prevent SAD symptoms.