The Chronicle’s View: Don’t get SAD, get glad

All summer long we prayed and hoped for rain to end Utah’s drought and now, it’s here.

While it may not be in the forefront of everybody’s minds, the rain is certainly wreaking havoc on the subconscious.

People are grouchy and apathetic. Students are showing up late to classes. Many are probably feeling unexplainably depressed lately.

The bad roads are a factor, the cold is a factor and the fact that it’s now time to put away those open- toed shoes along with that really cute tank top is a factor (and we’re not just talking women here).

But there’s also a biological reason for these sudden feelings of frustration and melancholy that have plagued you the last several days: Seasonal Affective Disorder.

SAD is caused by the loss of daylight typical of late fall and winter (and made worse by that accursed Daylight Savings Time). Light triggers the production of chemicals in your brain.

Less light means less “get up and go” chemicals and more “sleepy time” chemicals. It’s not your fault; your brain is all whacked out from the weather.

There are things that you can do. First, put away those open-toed shoes. Fashion should take a backseat to comfort when it’s wet and cold.

But seriously, by increasing the amount of light inside, you can combat the loss of light outside.

Even if you’re used to getting ready for school in the dark, turn all the lights on. Buy some new lamps. There are bulbs that emit more UV rays to duplicate sunl

ight. Read in areas with more light (avoid those deceptive fluorescent lights).

Do other things to generate “get up and go” chemicals like exercising more often. Spend 20 minutes in the Field House and walk to classes instead of riding the shuttle. Increased activity will produce more endorphins.

Bring a portable music player with you to school. Jam between classes to something upbeat. Bob Marley or Sublime will do the trick.

Dance. I know this is beginning to sound like that Baz Luhrmann sunscreen song. But unless you want to stay pissed at your girlfriend or boyfriend for no good reason, then hearken these words.

Spend more time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. That will get a lot of chemicals flowing. Get some good old “public display of affection” going on for those without a significant other.

Go up to higher ground during spare time. Get out of the inversion. Get out of Utah if you can. Visit the Bahamas or Mexico or somewhere exotic.

But whatever you do, don’t slow down. If you slow down now, cramming for finals in a month will suck. Keep going. Don’t worry, be happy!