How to Combat the Winter Blues


With the holidays wrapping up from the winter break, student energy has noticeably dropped as we all return to school.
The energy drop, commonly known as post-holiday blues, has affected students and teachers across the Williston campus, causing many to feel unmotivated and depressed.
Meg Colenback, Director of Mental Health Counseling, outlined the physiology behind the “Winter blues.”
“The ‘Winter blues’ are negative mood changes that are related to reduced sun exposure during these colder and darker months,” she explained. “This lack of sunlight not only affects mood, energy levels, and productivity. It can also lead to restless nights and poor sleep.”
Sunlight increases serotonin and helps stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Finding activities to bring happiness can help combat the post-holiday blues.
Despite the end of the holidays, a close community can bring spirits up, according to senior Alex Hershon.
“I look forward to seeing a lot of my close friends who go to Williston or live outside of Williston,” he said. “Often I haven’t seen them all break, and I look forward to getting back into sports and my team.”
With students hard-pressed to find motivation, many find New Year’s resolutions an easy way to set goals for themselves and to keep pushing forward.
“I think New Year’s resolutions are a good way to motivate yourself into doing something you don’t normally do,” Alex said. “It doesn’t have to start right away, but they’re just new thoughts that you put into your head that could change your life in a positive way.”
Even with New Year’s resolutions, other factors, like the weather, can bring on the blues. Without the sun, people are often more depressed by the cold. The winter is an especially trying time for people whose main sport is outside the winter season.
Max Fujimori, senior Varsity Soccer player, has felt the winter blues himself.
“I think what gets me down the most in the winter is not being able to play my sport and being stuck inside a lot because of the cold or snow,” he said. “To deal with this I just try to find stuff to occupy me like hobbies or media. I’ve started watching a lot more Netflix and I’m trying to learn some new things like ice skating and I’m getting back into chess.”
It is important to find activities or ways not only to motivate yourself, but also to keep the body and the mind healthy.
Senior Liz Gluz tries to stay focused by looking ahead on the calendar.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to think about time passing,” Liz said. “I try to remind myself of what’s important to me and think of things to look forward to, otherwise I’m just sulking about the last year.”