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Teen To Teen: Say “Sayonara” To SAD: A Teen Perspective On Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Delaney Whede

Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer to peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.

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When the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, many people suffer from seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or “SAD”. I’ve personally noticed that as the seasons change, so do my moods. As winter sets in and the days become darker and colder, I become far more lethargic and easily irritable.

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I lose motivation to do tasks that are usually very easy. However, I’ve learned that I don’t have to let seasonal affective disorder rule my life, and neither do you! Here are some simple ways to take control:

Clean Up Your Living Space

I have spent many a winter’s nights overwhelmed by how messy my room has gotten. Without the motivation to clean up, it is easy to let my disaster remain untouched until spring. Find ways to stay on top of organization.

Make a point to do laundry every few days while you watch your favorite show on Netflix. Keep a basket by your bed where random objects go when they need to be put away. Empty this basket before going to bed. This keeps them off the floor and keeps the clutter at bay.

Develop A Nighttime Routine

I am no stranger to waking up with my makeup on from the day before. My skin, obviously, retaliates. Night-time is perfect for de-stressing. Prevent additional insecurity-related stress by taking care of your skin.

You should also take time to reflect on your day with journaling or meditation. Swap binging a T.V show for reading a good book. Let yourself breathe. Then, go to bed and get a good night’s sleep so you are ready to tackle the day ahead.

If you have trouble staying off your phone, install an app like Flora that rewards you for not using your phone. In Flora’s case, plant trees!

Keep A Journal

It can be so helpful to write down how you are feeling at the end of every day. Not only does it allow you to vent and cool down about any stressors that might have kept you up, but it also provides an opportunity to look back on all the good things that happened throughout the day and to be grateful for those things.

This provides a positive space to revisit for motivation on particularly tough days. You were strong enough to get through those days; you are strong enough to get through today.

Create An Uplifting Playlist

Although it can be easy to let yourself wallow in the negative emotions, get into a more positive mindset by listening to upbeat songs with cheerful lyrics. Singing along to your favorite uplifting songs will usually put you in a better mood.

Talk To Someone

No matter how alone you feel, believe me, there are people here to help you. Whether it is your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, counselors, therapists, or someone else, find someone you can confide in. Just knowing you have someone in your corner is sure to make you feel better.

No matter how gloomy life may seem, trust me, it does get better. There is always something to look forward to, even if it is just your morning coffee or the next season of your favorite show. Keep on keeping on. You are doing great!

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