11 Ways To Calm Your Seasonal Depression Before It Gets Out Of Hand

11 Ways To Calm Your Seasonal Depression Before It Gets Out Of Hand

7. Treat yo' self...to a nap.

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It is about that time of the year when everyone is feeling sad and stressed. This can be caused by the changing of the weather, too much academic pressure as exams press nearer, and many other reasons. Everyone is affected differently and show their problems differently, but it is still a concern.

I am here to offer some words of advice to anyone who may be struggling with something in their own lives. If something applies to you, take the words I present and see how you can act on them. You never know what may speak to you in your time of struggle and stress.

Do not worry because almost everyone else is going through something as well. They may not have as dramatic of situations as yours, but at least know you are not doing this all alone.

1. Dress warmer! 

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Dress warmer with extra jackets, gloves, and a hat whenever you go outside. Even if it is only for a few minutes in-between buildings, make sure you keep warm and protected. If you do not own winter clothing, now is the time to invest in some before it becomes too late.

2. Take care of your health! 

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Keep drinking lots of water and taking lots of Vitamins. The best way to fight the flu is to try to get extra sleep whenever you can. That means you should take more naps and try to get to bed a little earlier. You do not want to get sicker than you already are, trust me.

3. Call your family...

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Maybe it is time to finally give them a call whether it be for a few minutes or an hour long video chat. Even just seeing their faces over the phone may be enough for you. It might also be that time in the school to head back home if you are able to and see them in person. I am sure they would really appreciate that surprise especially if you normally do not visit.

4. Open up to your friends! 

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Turn to the people around you who genuinely care about you. They will be able to cheer you up or at least will try to make you feel better. Start doing activities that you enjoy and that make you happier. Overall, if your attitude is positive, you will feel less sad and will be a more fun person to be around. No one likes to be surrounded by gloomy people.

5. Actually do your homework...

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Now is not the time in the semester to start to slack off on all your big projects and essays. This is the best time to actually work on them, so now you have to set up a plan that works for you. You know how you can succeed. Make a plan, and stick to it!

6. Set up an appointment with your advisor! 

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Maybe you need to try talking to an adviser at your school who can actually help. Chances are they know a fair amount about the classes you are taking and how to help you succeed. You do not have to feel overwhelmed because there are people who want to help. Turn to some people in your classes and see if they understand what they are doing at all before you start to freak out.

7. Treat yo' self...to a nap. 

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In college this is almost bound to happen. My best advice is that if you can go to bed at a reasonable time, try to go to bed. If you ever have a moment where you know you are not doing anything, take a nap. Frequent short naps can actually help you, so you may as well try to fit some into your daily routine especially if getting 4-5 hours a night of sleep seems to be your average.

8. Go DO something! 

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Go do something with people just to get yourself out there more. Ask your roommate to go get coffee with you. Ask that guy who sits in front of you to see a movie with you. Do whatever you want to do and invite others along. There are always going to be people who will want to join you; you just might have to ask around to figure it out.

9. Watch some scary movies! 

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Spooky season will be back around before you know it. It will still live on in spirit, but just know other seasons are coming around anyway. If you are really feeling nostalgic, watch some scary movies with some friends on a Friday night just to remember all the good spooky times.

10. Break out the Christmas music! 

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The season I look forward to most of all is just around the corner. Soon enough all the radio stations will be playing carols, all the stores will have trees scattered around the entrances, and cars will be driving slowly through neighborhoods just to look at all the lights on each house. It will be here before you know it, so just always be ready.

11. Look forward to Christmas break!

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This is closer than you may realize, so just hang in there for these last few weeks. You will finally be able to relax and not have to think about school or exams. First you have to get to the end of the semester, so just stay focused on exams for now. The fun will come later.

No matter what you may be struggling with, you are not alone this cold season of problems. Find those people around you who will be able to help you the most. You got this!!

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Here's Why You Shouldn't Donate to The Salvation Army This Holiday Season (Or Ever)

No, I’m not a grinch or a scrooge. I’m just a member of the LGBT+ community that is tired of seeing my community suffer at the hands of organizations that are supposed to help us.
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The holiday season is upon us, bringing mall Santas, twinkling lights, and the well-known bell ringers with their red buckets stationed outside busy department stores. The Salvation Army is a mainstay in the memories of our childhood holidays. I remember a number of years where my parents would give each of my sisters and I a handful of change to put in the shiny red bucket as we walked into Wal-Mart to shop for our family Christmas dinner. On the surface, the Salvation Army is an organization with good intentions of helping the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. However, a quick Google search exposes the organization’s discriminatory practices.

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian denomination and an international charitable organization. Their mission statement, as stated on their website, reads: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Despite their insistence of nondiscriminatory practices, however, there have been several instances of discrimination, specifically against members of the LGBT+ community. In July 2017, a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn, New York, was found by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) to be discriminating. Three other centers in New York City were also cited as being discriminatory. Violations within the four centers included refusing to accept transgender people as patients or tenants, assigning trans people rooms based on their sex assigned at birth instead of their lived gender identity, unwarranted physical examinations to determine if trans people are on hormone therapy or have had surgery, and segregating transgender patients into separate rooms. The NYCCHR had been tipped off about the mistreatment, and testers from the commission went to the cited centers and found clear evidence of the mistreatment. One of the clinics told the testers outright, “No, we don’t [accept transgender patients].” Another clinic’s representative said, “People with moving male parts would be housed with men.”

This isn’t the first time the Salvation Army has discriminated specifically against transgender people. In 2014, a transgender woman from Paris, Texas fled her home due to death threats she received related to her gender identity. The police told her, “Being the way you are, you should expect that.” She went to Dallas and found emergency shelter at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, run by the Salvation Army. The emergency shelter allowed her to stay for 30 days. Towards the end of her 30-day stay, she began looking for other long-term shelter options. One option many of the other women staying in the shelter had recently entered was a two-year housing program also run by the Salvation Army. When the woman interviewed for the program, she was told she was disqualified for the program because she had not had gender reassignment surgery. The counselor for the program later claimed there was a waiting list, but it came out that two women who arrived at the emergency shelter after the transgender woman had already entered the program. The transgender woman filed a complaint with Dallas’s Fair Housing Office, which protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. She was able to find other housing through the Shared Housing Project, a project that aims to find transgender people with housing who are willing to support those without.

The Salvation Army’s Christian affiliation drives the organization’s statements and beliefs. The church has a page on its website dedicated to its decided stance on the LGBT+ community that seems to paint a nice picture. Their actions, however, tell a different story. There have been several accounts reporting the Salvation Army’s refusal of service to LGBT+ people unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services “open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.” The church claims it holds a “positive view of human sexuality,” but then clarifies that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.” This belief extends to their staff, asking LGBT+ employees to renounce their beliefs and essentially their identity in order to align with the organization. The Salvation Army believes that “The theological belief regarding sexuality is that God has ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman and sexual activity is restricted to one’s spouse. Non-married individuals would therefore be celibate in the expression of their sexuality.” Essentially, gay people can’t get married. Unmarried people can’t have sex. Therefore, gay people are forbidden from being intimate with one another. This is unfair to ask of any employee, especially considering that one’s relationship status does not interfere with how well anyone can do their job.

If you are still looking to donate to a non-homophobic and transphobic organization this holiday season, here are some great pro-LGBT+ organizations with outreach similar to that of the Salvation Army:

  • Doctors Without Borders: medical and emergency relief
  • Habitat for Humanity: homelessness and housing
  • Local homeless shelters: search the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website for shelters near you!
  • Local food bank: find your local food bank through Feeding America here.
  • The Trevor Project: a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT+ young people ages 13-24.
Cover Image Credit: Ed Glen Today

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5 Struggles Of Being Single During The Holidays

For my all my single friends out there, this one's for you.

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Another holiday season, another myriad of feelings of loneliness. Sometimes, it's hard to be single during the holidays. Here are five reasons that explain what the heck is happening:

1. It’s cold as heck

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With coldness comes desires to have someone to cuddle and stay warm with. Seasonal affective disorder, anyone?

2. ALL. THE. COUPLES.

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It almost seems like everyone around you is dating, and you're just a little, sad potato. And mind you, a lonely one at that. Must be nice!!

3. Family reunions can be a real pain in the butt

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Do relatives have to ask if I have a boyfriend every single time we meet? Please stop asking! The answer is no!

4. Too many decorations

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All the Christmas decorations, trees, and tunes would be so much better with a significant other, but nope!

5. Christmas movies are all romantic!!!

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On Netflix, nearly all the movies are romantic, and it makes you feel that much more single!

All in all, just because you're single doesn't mean you don't have people you love in your life. Enjoy being single during holidays! #betterlucknextyear

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