Excuse the belated greeting, but welcome back to campus after a blissfully long Winter Break! You’ve survived hanging out with drunk uncles on Thanksgiving, the Mayan end of the world, and the dreadfully destructive New Years Day hangover. Congradulations- you’ve overcome these trials just to be greeted with a harsh and bleak Minnesota winter. Hurray?
According to the Cleveland Clinic’s website, about 10-20% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are most likely to be affected, especially those who live at higher latitudes (i.e. Minnesota). That means, if you’ve been feeling unusually tired, grouchy, or generally anti-social, you could have a case of the winter blues*. Great, it might not be all that extra homework or the early onslaught of essays and lab reports; you could just be adversely reacting to the weather.
Most medical sources agree that the best way to combat symptoms of SAD is through light therapy. Since we don’t have access to the most up-to-date technology (like Lux or other crazy expensive light treatments), they suggest spending as much time outdoors and absorbing what little sunlight there is through the wintry cloud coverage. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Apparently not: even though the sunlight is defracted through clouds and the joyous feeling of the occasional sunbeam is immediately overtaken by the extreme horror of the frigid wind blasting your face, it still behooves you to make an effort to get outdoors and out of your dorm room.
So let’s embrace the cold and play some broomball or snowshoe through the arb to absorb some minute levels of Vitamin D. Make the most of Winter Term; afterall, global warming is coming and maybe someday you’ll get to tell your grandchildren stories of what snow looked like back in the day and what temperatures below 50 degrees felt like.
*If you’re seriously feeling depressed, don’t self- medicate; instead, go to the SHAC or see a doctor.