Nov. 28, 2018
Strategies to cope with seasonal depression
Four tips from Seneca's Counselling office
Do short, dark winter days affect your mood? You're not alone.
For some, the result is Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) — a type of depression that appears in the fall and winter months.
Seasonal changes, including a drop in temperature and less sunlight, have an effect on your mental and physical health. Symptoms include chronic tiredness, inability to sleep, oversleeping, change in appetite and feelings of stress.
Rachel Wong, Special Projects Officer with Counselling and Accessibility Services, promotes mental health and wellness activities for Seneca students.
Here are her top tips for handling seasonal depression.
1. Spend more time outdoors
Days are shorter in the winter, so spending more time outoors helps maximize sunlight exposure. Alternatively, if you're inside all day, try to keep your curtains open or move furniture around to accomodate sitting close to a window.
2. Incorporate fitness into your routine
Physical activity relieves stress, builds energy and increases both your physical and mental well-being and resilience. To help hit the gym in between classes, there are a number of fitness classes available at King, Markham, Newnham and Seneca@York campuses. Alternatively, incorporating a daily walk into your routine at lunchtime is another suitable option, especially for those who commute to school during the dark hours of the day.
3. Take time for self care
Taking time to connect with others, eat well and sleep for 7 to 8 hours a night, are all effective ways to manage the effects of depression.
4. Visit a counsellor on campus
Don't forget that Seneca is here to support you. Visit the Counselling and Accessibility Services office at your campus if you are experiencing S.A.D symptoms.