The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications


The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications

The Student News Site of Stafford High School

SHS Publications

The Winter Cold is Getting Old

The causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and what you can do to diminish the effects

On a frigid winter morning, you’re woken up, startled by your alarm. “I just need 10 more minutes,” you say to yourself as you hit snooze. By the time you finish your “10 minutes”, you realize that school has already started, and you’re still in bed. However, you never feel this way when the weather is warm and sunny. You must be wondering: why does this happen?

 

When the weather is cold, some people struggle to get out of bed on time. The lack of vitamin D and UV exposure during the winter can confuse your biological clock and lead to a drop in serotonin and melatonin levels. This can be identified as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects 1 in every 15 people in the U.S. Even without diagnosis, it’s still incredibly common to be affected by the changing seasons. 

 

Along with oversleeping and heightened depression, SAD can also cause you to overeat and even gain weight. In rare cases, depression will take place during the warmer months, with opposite symptoms.

 

If you notice that you are experiencing this and it’s throwing off your productivity and mood, it would be best to see a counselor. They can confirm that you suffer from the disorder and you can begin to decide on treatment. 

 

”Exercising is gonna be something that’s gonna help generate a lot of metabolic function in your body,” suggests Mrs. Nina Brown, one of the guidance counselors at Stafford. As mentioned earlier, lack of sunlight can reduce serotonin levels. Exercise, on the other hand, increases the production of this chemical. Serotonin helps you to have an easier time concentrating, keeps your mood stable, and makes you feel overall more content. 

 

Usually associated with exercise, your diet can also play a huge role in your mental health. “Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are really gonna help if you get the right quantity of those things,” Brown advises. She also claims that when you have a healthier gut, include probiotics and vitamin supplements in your diet, and stay hydrated, it will lessen the effects of SAD. 

 

Even if you struggle with depression and it’s out of your control, you can still make the choice on your outlook of life. When you feel like you can’t push yourself to get out of bed, think about how much better you would feel if you were going for a drive, or for a walk. “Anything that gets you up and moving I think is probably gonna help. Closing yourself in and hiding all of those things are the opposite of what will help,” says Brown. 

 

Regardless of if it’s cold or not, the outdoors can always heal your soul. It’s where we were naturally made to be in the first place. When you stay locked in your dark bedroom, it doesn’t help. The main problem is the fact that you aren’t getting enough sunlight, so get out and see the trees, the sky, and the beautiful world we are so lucky to live in.

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About the Contributors
Emma Horton, Writer
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Sienna Green, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hi, I am Sienna, a Co-Editor in Chief for the Smoke Signal! I am a senior, and this is my first year on the staff. After high school, I hope to attend a 4-year college to study business admin with a concentration in Project Management. When not at school I am a little kids' soccer coach! I have a love for the beach, sunsets, and my dog Peach!
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