Wellness Wednesday: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Q.  I’m feeling a little more tired and down than usual this month.  I think it might be the winter blues, but is there anything I can do about it?

A.  November and December can be hard months at Bowdoin. The days get shorter, the weather gets colder, the semester starts feeling long, and work gets crazy. This can be a recipe for the winter blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the clinical name for the winter blues. SAD is caused by the changing light that happens during this dark and cold time of year. People often begin experiencing it for the first time during their college years, so if you are feeling down, it is a good thing to know about!

The good news: SAD can be effectively treated and prevented.

Some tips include: getting outside while the sun is out, being social even if you want to curl up every night alone in your dorm room, getting exercise and eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies. For some students who are having a difficult time during the winter months, it is a good idea to talk to the counseling center about light therapy or about increasing or changing your medication if you are already struggling with depression.

Peer Health knows that the winter blues suck.  So…keep your eyes out for our joke posters that will make you smile, snacks in the library during crunch time, and more info on SAD to help you through the end of the semester!