November 18, 2010
Why so SAD?
Kappa Kappa Gamma
“Well the weather outside is frightful”…
It’s the line from one of my favorite Christmas songs, and though I am ALWAYS ready for Christmas, I’m not so excited about the kind of weather that comes with it. But despite my wishing, it has once again become that time of year where sunny days are just a tease and the only place you wear your flip-flops is the shower.
It is perfectly normal to be a little down. Cold weather makes it hard to motivate ourselves to do some of the things we know make us happy: like going out at night, getting lunch with a friend or working out. However, sometimes this gets taken a step further and causes an actual mood disorder. The condition is medically known as seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), but is more commonly known as seasonal depression. Read on to find out if you may have it and, if you do, tips to help.
Are you SAD?
Symptoms of SAD include:
• difficulty waking up in the morning
• morning sickness
• tendency to oversleep
• overeating that may result in weight gain
• lack of energy
• difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
• withdrawal from friends, family and social activities
If these symptoms go untreated, they can lead to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness and a lack of pleasure.
Though some symptoms require the help of a doctor or medicine to fix, there are things you can do to avoid and prevent seasonal depression.
I know cold weather gives you an excuse to wear a sweatshirt 24/7, but this does not mean you can eat double…Often, less daylight and boredom make you consume more food than you need or normally would, even unintentionally. Take note of the diet and eating habits you had in the warmer months and try to maintain them into the winter. Keep in mind, you’re likely to be more sedentary in the winter, so make adjustments as needed.
Suck it up and get moving.
Yes, it is much harder to get your butt to the RPAC during winter quarter, but like Nike said, “just do it.” Try not to think too much about how cold it is, how tired you are, or how comfy your bed may be. To make it easier, invest in a lock so you can keep your coat and boots in a locker when you get to the RPAC (they’re only $6 at the service desk). If you can’t muster the energy or time to walk there in a foot of snow, just drive. Something is better than nothing and even if it’s only a half hour on the treadmill, it counts on the something side. If paying for parking is a problem, go to the ARC where the parking is reasonably priced and they take credit cards. In addition, you can often get away with using the same ticket all week, as they’re not too good about checking the date. It also helps to find a workout buddy, download a great play list, or invest in a new pair of running shoes you just love wearing.
Keep up with your friends.
Admittedly, it is much harder to visit with friends who live across campus when it is freezing out and it does take a lot more effort. But keeping in contact with people we enjoy being around is worth it in the long run. It keeps us from dwelling on our own problems and it has been proven that close relationships that involve understanding and caring actually do make us happier people.
So, grab your favorite friend, go to a healthy lunch and get your work out on. You won’t be SAD you did!