Mental Wellness: The Winter Blues

Generally speaking, I always knew that the winter blues existed and that they were a thing, but I never knew anything more about them beyond just that basic knowledge. My sophomore year of my undergrad, I was in an Elements of Weather class and we had an opportunity for extra credit. I was one of those college kids that jumped for joy for extra credit. The assignment was to write a paper linking your major and the class. So I was sitting there thinking, “how in the world am I supposed to write a paper that links psychology with weather? Well, luckily my professor required his approval on the papers. So I went up there and told him that I wanted to do the extra credit, but I am a psychology major…he then introduced me to SAD. Or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or, the winter blues.

The winter blues/SAD are just that. With the days being shorter and shorter (up until the winter equinox) and the “miserable” weather of cold, snow, ice, and general just annoyance with the winter season actually has a negative effect on your affect (fingers crossed I used those right…). This article by HuffPo details not only how winter can effect your mood, but also how different seasons can influence your mood.

So my question…is knowledge power? Have you ever noticed that after you find out about something, all of a sudden it is more prominent in your life? I know that I knew about the winter blues, but I never remember being super down during winter or experiencing any depression, but after I wrote that paper about SAD, I am more aware of how I feel down during the winter months. Does anyone else have this same experience?

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