Depression Cartoon by Lindsay Schuring

The winter months are creeping up on us faster than a white girl can finish her pumpkin spice latte. As much as we love to bask in the autumn sun and bright spirit of fall, we can’t help but feel a slight anxiety over the upcoming cold and dark months. Here are a few tips on how to prevent the seasonal depression that can slowly seep into your soul. Hopefully by the end of this, you’ll find a sliver of excitement for the winter months somewhere within you.

1. Stay Warm — Drink Seasonal Coffee Creamer

In the cold and slushy winter days of Utah, my typical day as a college student begins by waking up in my cozy warm blankets to the crisp morning air that bites my nose. As I dreadfully drag my feet to the kitchen to make my morning cup of coffee, I’m reminded of the yummy holiday-themed coffee sweetener I recently purchased. I suddenly feel a little bit better about my day. As I get back to my room to finish my morning routine, I turn on my space heater. These are essential in the winter, not only to keep warm, but for your mental well-being. I keep the space heater by my side at all times wherever I am in my house.

2. Be Cozy, But Fashionable

My winter school attire goal is to be as cozy as possible while not looking like a slob. In the fall, I go through my clothes and minimize my closet. I put all of my summer clothes into boxes and keep only my blacks, whites and grays — these are colors to live by in the winter. They all go well with each other, making layering and picking an outfit easy.

3. Be Lazy

Having a minimal and organized room is a must in the winter. There is nothing more tempting than a messy bed to impulsively drop all priorities and watch Netflix all day. A clear space is a clear mind.

4. Set the Mood

Of course, the most obvious of all, white Christmas lights. Anyone who has white wired Christmas lights in their room can vow that the ambiance it provides is similar to the tranquility of fireflies dancing around a lake on a summer evening. These lights, paired with a small $5 purchase of a holiday candle from Walmart, will leave you feeling warm, cozy and calm, regardless of the weather outside.

5. Find Scenic Places to Study

I find that I am most productive when I am in a coffee shop or on campus. What I do every winter is find a spot that has endless windows to look out of and enjoy the falling snow. Winter can be absolutely beautiful in the right light, so why not observe its beauty while it’s here? Sugarhouse Coffee and Salt Lake City Roasting Company both have lots of windows. These are two places you’ll find me writing my articles this winter.

6. Create a Winter Playlist

Last but not least, a winter playlist. No, this does not mean you have to prematurely add Christmas songs in November (that would be a sin), but adding nice comforting music to keep your head up is crucial. This is the time when Michael Bublé comes out of hibernation. Take advantage of that. My favorite part about having a winter playlist is filling up my water bottle with some red wine, popping in my headphones, bundling up and going for a long night walk through the snow.

Winters can be difficult, especially for anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder or winter depression. These suggestions will hopefully make you feel slightly better and less anxious about the cold months. Splurge on some nice snow boots, get yourself a much needed snow scraper for your car, take a drive through the canyon once a week. All of these small things can increase your mental stability and winter spirit during the upcoming months.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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