Got a Case of the Winter Blues? You’re not Alone!

Learn a Few Ways to Destress During the Holidays!


Photo Courtesy of “Tri-County Health Care”

Winter is finally here! ‘Tis the season for sleep deprivation and burnt-out teenagers. The happiest time of the year- peppermint, pine, and crying, oh my. Stress is not in short supply any time the beloved holidays roll around. Students are met to decide between good grades, and falling a little behind in the name of the holiday spirit. Fortunately, if you are overwhelmed by an excessive workload, then I am happy to report that you are far from alone. 

A major factor in this stress overload is the drastic temperature drops between October and December. While many people throw around the phrase “seasonal depression” to describe their holiday blues, they may not realize that SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a very real thing.  <> explains that, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression that happens to a person only at a specific time of year. With SAD, a person by the brain’s response to [seasonal] changes in daylight. When the daylight hours grow longer again, the depression lifts.” 

One way to reduce stress during these extra stressful times is to practice mindfulness for others and yourself. Practicing simple acts of kindness can reduce stress all around.  <> recommends, “Don’t forget about your own needs. Take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or watch a funny movie. Laughing relaxes the whole body, and can relieve physical tension and stress.” 

On top of the overwhelming loads of school work, there is also the anxiety in finding the perfect gifts for family and friends (Is there such a thing?). While there are many factors that play into gift buying, sometimes the best are the ones that are from the heart. When asked if she prefers handmade or store-bought gifts, Madeline Perales (10) shares, “For me it doesn’t really matter, but if I have to choose one, I would choose handmade gifts. Handmade gifts are one of a kind and are more meaningful to me than store-bought gifts.”

Remember, the holidays are yours to celebrate however you see fit. Try not to let things like finals or college applications freak you out if you can help it. If you can’t, “ My favorite way to distress during finals is to take breaks during my study times and to write everything I need to do down. This helps me become less stressed and get all my work done on time,” says Perales.

Hopefully, you are enjoying this season (flaws and all), or at least using it as fuel to push through to a holiday/season you enjoy a little more. If you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. And if you do not celebrate, I hope that you enjoy whichever holiday that you partake in, if any. Regardless, I can only hope that every one of you is taking advantage of this cold weather to participate in a warm hoodie and toasty hot chocolate season.