How to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Avoiding The Seasonal Slump

AKA the worst time of the year.


Unfortunately, the first few months of the year tend to be the worst few months of the year... at least in my opinion. It really sucks because it is the season of new beginnings and reinventing yourself - new year, new me - am I right? Making all of these goals and changes in the dead of winter can be a challenge, especially to my New Englanders. Dropping temperatures, long days becoming short, and the holiday season coming to an abrupt end. It makes you question why you were so ready for the new year.

The season of seasonal depression needs to be combatted! I am a glass-half-full kind of girl, so when obstacles are in the way of your happiness, I believe in problem solving and thinking of ways to overcome them. Keeping a positive attitude and making a few changes in your daily routine can get you through these rough, cold, boring months. Here are a few to try!

Vitamin D supplements.


Vitamin D is amazing for your health... it is essential for humans to get their recommended amounts, like most other vitamins. It is radiated from the sun, usually in high enough amounts to where we can get our fill from spending time in sunshine. In the winter months where the sun is more shy and we spend more time indoors, it is easy to form a deficiency leading to overall health concerns and even contributing to Seasonal Affective Disorder (seasonal depression). Purchasing Vitamin D gummy vitamins is an easy way to get it back into your system so you can remain as healthy and as happy as possible in these harsh months. This was recommended to me a while ago, and it has been something I have sworn by ever since.

Incorporating bright colors.


Winter fashion tends to highlight darker elements. Black dresses, grey sweatpants, and big navy jackets are all too familiar. Switching up your style and wearing pops of color can bring some brightness and joy back into your life. Whenever I get the chance to wear a pink sweatshirt or even just fun socks, I do! It will not solve your problems, but definitely keep things fun!

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


There is no better time to start (or continue) being healthy than now! Keeping your gym schedule on track can be challenging - if you cannot get yourself to go out on a snowy or brisk day, try Pinterest workouts! Weightless, gym-less, fifteen minute workouts are available in cute lists and can keep your exercise on track even when the weather prevents you from your success. Starting off each days with vitamins, water, fruit and maybe some tea or a cup of coffee can be a game-changer. Start prepping for bikini body season early!

Keeping up with your routines.


Making your bed each morning, putting things back that you took out, completing your assigned homework, attending club meetings, calling your parents - all things that, if kept up with, can avoid a TON of stress later. When you do what you are supposed to, you feel on top of the world. When you fall behind, though, it can feel like things are tumbling down. To avoid that stress in the winter months, create routines and stick to them!

Staying warm!


Make sure you buy yourself a nice coat or parka! Being cold gives you a cold! Gloves, hats, and sweaters are all essential when going outside... even if it is just between classes. Space heaters and proper attire can change your attitude. Even wearing socks wherever you go can keep you all warm. But, when you're cold it is easy to feel sick or just feel more sad.

Keeping yourself busy


My mind tends to wander when I have too much time on my hands... snow days can be a ton of fun for me, but usually for the first couple hours. When I have spent an entire day inside and stuck in my house or dorm I feel like I am going crazy. Keeping up with (or getting ahead in) homework, laundry, cleaning your space or doing things you have been putting off can make the time fly and give you more peace of mind on a long winter day.

Moisturizing dry skin


Changing up your skincare routine can be a game changer! Dry skin can make you feel gross... and unfortunately, this time of year makes it very common to experience this. Adding a moisturizer or switching your skincare products to match your current skin can keep you feeling confident and feeling comfortable. Even the occasional face mask and lip scrub can make you feel amazing!

Add extra light and sunshine!


A huge factor in Seasonal Affective Disorder that tends to affect people most frequently is lack of sunlight. In the summer, whether you realize it or not, you are exposed to a ton of sunlight from day to day. Between more time spent outside or sun in all the windows of your house or car, you tend to be in brighter situations in the warmer months. The days in the winter shorten and so does the amount of sunlight you are exposed to... and this can take a toll on your mental health. Buying extra lights and keeping lights on as much as you can, or even opening your blinds when possible and letting natural light flow in can put you at ease. I hate sitting in the dark all the time, so whenever possible I keep a bright space wherever I am.

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To The Soon-To-Be College Freshman Who Think They'll Keep Their High School Friends, Know This

You will maybe talk to 10 people back from your high school while your in college.


I know what you are thinking "Of course I am going to still talk to all my high school friends once we graduate." "You just didn't keep up with your friends." "I am going to talk to them every day."

Of course, you may be the lucky ones that go on to the same college and university, but if you follow your best friend to college then have you ever thought to yourself. "Did I choose my school based on if my friend(s) would go to college together." Obviously, it could be coincidental that you end up in the same place, but my argument is more on the idea of having friends that go to the same college on your list of important things once you move away.

Now if you are still reading and still in denial with what I am saying then continue.

Since moving away from home I have broadened my horizons and met more people then I could ever have imagined. I have met people that if I have not kept an open mind to them I would not be friends with them now. You will most likely choose the same type of friends that you had in high school if you do not keep an open mind when finding friends in college.

You also do not want to be that person who refuses to make other friends besides their high school friends. I hate to break it to you, but your high school friends will find other friends beside you when they leave for college/university. This time in your life is supposed to be "a new chapter" if you do not branch out of your comfort zone then you will be stuck in a little bubble for the rest of your life.

Not only will your friends in your high school class be making friends, but you need to make friends that are in the same stage of life that you are also in. Still talking to high school aged friends will limit you from conversations due to distance, lack of relevance, and just not going through the same stuff as you.

Sounds daunting? I know.

I am not saying that you can not be friends still with your high school friends. From time to time I catch up with mine to see how the school is going for them, and how they are doing, but I am building and forming relationships with my friends at college because you have had to start up from ground zero, and will be forming a foundation until we graduate.

Even when you have broken it is nice to hang out with your high school friends and talk about the good old days. My point to you is to keep an open mind and to not get upset when high school friends have moved on and found their new friends from school just like you.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.


1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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