By Inger Furholt
Staff reporter

It is not a secret that moods change with the different seasons. On a warm sunny day people just seem to be happier than on a cold rainy day. As we’re getting closer to the winter months it is important to know how your body and feelings can change due to weather.

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression, is something many deal with every year, as the colder months come around. Some people get anxiety, depression, and become fatigued.

As winter comes around, the trees are naked, and the day’s grayer, I often feel like everything would be so much easier if I could just stay in bed, and not have to do anything all day. I wish I was a bear and could hibernate through winter. Of course, some days will be better than others.

Winter depression can happen to anyone. Many young adults struggle through every winter, and it tends to be especially common in women.

It can be hard to control how your body reacts to certain things, and I wouldn’t say that there is always a way to control anxiety, depression and feeling fatigued during the winter months without professional help. However, there are ways that can help one boost the mood for the better.

Exercise is important during the winter months because it releases endorphins. It also increases serotonin levels which help fight depression. Even though many actually have a tendency to stop exercising during the winter because of the cold, it can be one of the most important things to keep up with. If you don’t feel like going outside to work out because of the cold or the bad weather, there are always gyms or exercise videos available.

Sleeping is another important ingredient. As college students, many of us tend to try to get a nap in whenever there’s a chance. We don’t feel rested because we often stay up late studying or doing a variety of other things that affects our energy in a negative way. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can be a challenge, but it is vital to a healthy lifestyle.

Opening the blinds when you wake up to let light inside can also be a strategic move to start the day off with a smile. Humans often find light soothing.

When feeling down some have a tendency to “eat their feelings” without thinking about what is going in their mouth. Divulging on snacks can make one feel better for a short period of time, but eventually it just decreases your energy. Eating food from the different food groups is important, as well as getting the right kind and amount of your daily carbohydrates to keep your energy levels stable. We often think about eating healthy as something someone has to do because of dieting, but it is actually import to everyone no matter shape or size.

Some of us might consume a lot of caffeine or alcohol. Both of these can be hard to avoid. These beverages may give one a brief lift, but they can also cause anxiety, and make you more tired in the long run. Alcohol is a depressant and should always be used in moderation, especially if you are already feeling low.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with themselves when the winter blues strike. It is important to understand that when the weather changes, your mood may change with it. Many of us tend to keep things like this to ourselves, because we don’t want people to think differently of us. Remember, there are things we all can to do help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and there are always people to talk to. People who, I am sure, will understand and help as best possible.

Inger Marie Furholt is a senior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at inger.furholt@sckans.edu.