Those “winter blues” are real. In fact recent studies report more depression, anxiety, hostility, anger and irritability in winter than any other season. Light is an important part of your environment and can have a major impact on your overall well-being. Transitory low periods are not serious; prolonged periods of feeling distressed are.
So what is the difference between "the blues" and a more serious case of depression? When feelings of sadness and loss don't go away, it’s possible depression has set in. Depression manifests itself in many ways. Sometimes the ways are outwardly obvious, sometimes not. Depression occurs when a person's feelings of despair, hopelessness and sadness extend for two weeks or more. When such feelings begin to impact school, sleeping, eating, socializing or physical well-being, it's time to get help. Unfortunately, those with depression tend to isolate themselves. There’s no reason to suffer when help is available right on campus at our Counseling Center. And seek help immediately if you feel suicidal or feel you might harm yourself.
Also try to exercise, eat properly, and minimize caffeine and other foods that interfere with restful sleep. Avoid alcohol (a depressant) and non-prescribed drugs. They may provide a temporary "high," but actually exacerbate depression. The winter can be an enjoyable time if we remain aware of our needs and seek appropriate assistance when it's warranted. In the meantime, take a walk, even on those gray, dreary, and cold days. You will feel better for it!