Winter Blues

An unexpected winter storm.


A field like this is the view brings many people to why they feel the way they do in winter.

I think most students can agree, winter is the most difficult season. Everything’s cold, it gets dark way earlier, and is overall unwelcoming. Lifeless trees are waiting for spring, bleak gray clouds hang overhead, and the worst part, I have to heat up my car every morning.  School overall is stressful, and to walk outside to the unending gray doesn’t make it better. Especially for winter sports athletes who arrive at school in the dark morning don’t leave until the dark evening. They miss any chance of sunshine. 

Besides a few, the majority don’t like winter and are anticipating the freedom of summer, the greatest being the weather, the presence of sunlight. The benefits of sunlight are many, but one of the biggest is its ability to fight off depression, sunshine just makes everything feel better. I think most feel this way but you can find proof in the prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD is stated as occurring usually in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times of the year, causing a drop in your body’s internal clock. This leads to lower serotonin levels and depression, affecting around ten million of the U.S. According to Boston University. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder changes people. People who once were so alive can be caught up in the affects of SAD. Goals shift and shut down, leaving the main goal to survive winter, trying not to feel like a shadow of who you once were. However for others, the goal of getting through a season  is the other way around. Although less frequent, getting through summer can be very difficult for some. 

There are therapies that exist to help SAD; light therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs, and exercise. Three of these treatments cost money, which some won’t be able to afford, while one is free and only requires your commitment, exercise.

I personally know how rough winter can feel, but I never thought I had SAD. I know how my past winters have felt compared to this one, for one big reason, I’ve been able to stay consistent this winter with exercise. When you exercise consistently, it serves the same purpose that an antidepressant does by releasing endorphins and providing energy, all for free. 

Although it’s not completely free in the fact that it takes time and effort to keep consistent, pushing yourself to keep on a regimen is proven to make people much happier once they commit. 

It may not be for everybody but exercising has changed peoples lives, mentally and physically and being able to push against what you dont wanna do and keep doing it. Your tolerance for things such as that will strengthen just helping with the commitment of everyday life.