Baby, It's Cold Outside, But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Suffer Through The Winter Blues

Baby, It's Cold Outside, But That Doesn't Mean You Have To Suffer Through The Winter Blues

There is a difference between feeling gloomy because you have to trek to campus in the cold and feeling like you literally cannot get out of bed because of it.

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As the days get darker and colder, some of us might be feeling more under the weather. But there is a difference between feeling gloomy because you have to trek to campus in the cold and feeling like you literally cannot get out of bed because of it.

Seasonal affective disorder (aptly shortened to SAD) is a mental illness characterized by the onset of depression-like symptoms during changes in weather patterns. The most common form occurs around winter when shorter days and a lack of sunlight can wreak havoc on melatonin levels. Winter is also a time where many people feel lonely and demoralized (there is a reason for cuffing season.)

The important thing to realize is that people with SAD are not alone. Recent research suggests that it affects thousands of Americans. Sunny Florida is believed to have the lowest incidence, with 1.4% of the state's population suffering from SAD each year. On the other end of the scale, Alaska has the highest incidence at 9%.

The National Institutes for Mental Health (NIMH) offers a few possible therapies for combating SAD symptoms. One of the most commonly known is light-exposure therapy. This is when people spend upwards of half an hour a day being exposed to a special light that is made to mimic sunlight. It is typically recommended that light therapy is done in the morning to cohere with natural sunlight patterns in the summer.

NIMH also recommends psychotherapy, if accessible. If it isn't, try reaching out to friends or family. Sometimes having a support network of people who care about you can help you pull through the coming weeks.

Also remember to drink plenty of fluids, and try to get as many fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With the various viruses running amok this time of the year, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. Even if you don't necessarily have SAD, these actions can help keep your mental health up in the cold throes of the coming winter. Good luck to everyone with finals!

If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you or someone you know is actively suicidal, please call 911.

Stony Brook CAPS is also open Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM and available to contact via phone at (631) 632-6720 after hours.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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To The Jerks Who Order Delivery In A Snow Storm, I'm Calling You Out

If you wouldn't drive in it, you shouldn't make a teenager with a 1996 Honda Accord do it instead.

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We live in an amazing world where if we want delivery at 2 a.m., we can get it. That being said, if there's a pretty terrible snowstorm out you can probably bet that your local Domino's is open and delivering. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I work in a franchise pizza place and often when there's snow on the road, our orders come in, and a majority of them are deliveries. And just as often, people often ask if ordering when there are inches of snow outside makes them a jerk. Quite frankly, yes, it does. If you're sitting in your home looking outside thinking it's too dangerous for you to drive, then order delivery because you can't just cook for yourself for one day, yes, you are kind of a jerk.

Let me explain why. As we get piled up with orders, most of the time the roads aren't cleared and customers don't even do the slight courtesy of shoveling a quick walkway to their door. So not only are drivers risking their lives with the elements and other drivers, but they're also slipping on their way up to your door. And of course, because of careful driving, the delivery time may take longer than usual and that often leaves to little tips.

So 20-year-old Johnny in his 1996 Honda Accord pushes against horrible weather and risks his life so you can get your food, and receive barely a tip? This is what you don't do!

However, people will always order delivery when there's terrible weather, and you should be more grateful that drivers make it to your door instead of the company's ability to deliver to you at this moment. Because companies will always be there to deliver in your time of need, the least you can do is be a little less of a jerk by doing these simple things:

Tip well. Like, really well. Delivery fees often don't go to the drivers and they're making anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars while driving. Your delivery person will greatly appreciate it after they just risked their lives!

Allow extra time. When there's snow, there are orders. Chances are you aren't the only delivery at this time and the drivers are doing their best to get your food to you in a timely manner while still staying safe. Don't call after 20 minutes complaining about where the food is. Everyone is just trying their best!

Don't leave negative reviews. Seriously, if there's an actual problem call your restaurant and explain so they can at least resolve it with a credit for the next time you order. Give them some slack, don't make them suffer because the wait was too long in terrible weather or they forgot your ketchup packages.

Or maybe just reconsider ordering delivery? Working in the service industry is hard, snow days make it so much harder and really push employees to their limit. People show up to work because they need the money so someone will always be there to deliver for you, but consider making their day slightly easier by cooking your dinner at home instead.

Just because a delivery driver can make it, doesn't mean he/she should even go for it. Consider skipping the delivery during a terrible storm, or at least, don't be a total jerk about it because we truly do appreciate it when we at least get proper gratitude during this hard time.

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