Beating winter blues-Methods for staying happy during the cold months

Taylor Favour

When winter takes away our sacred barefoot hikes in the woods, bonfires near Superior and especially the joyful, warm sun most everyone adores, people find themselves in a blizzard of winter blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as SAD, is a disorder that occurs when someone becomes unhappy during the early fall and winter months. SAD is caused from lack of natural light and vitamins getting to your body.

Brenda Bickler, secretary of the Counseling and Consultation Services Office in Hedgcock, said along with counseling services they offer special therapies.

“We do light therapy here in the office,” Bickler said. “There is a room in the back where students or faculty can sit in front of our therapy light for a few minutes. It really does seem to help improve moods.”

Light therapy is an artificial light that is ten times brighter than your average light bulb, it is similar to natural light and does not affect your eyes. In addition to light therapy, getting outside is a great way to bring out the endorphins that burrow during winter.

For those who may not like to fly down the side of a mountain, cross country skiing or snowshoeing is a great alternative. There are many places you can hike and snowshoe at Presque Isle, Hogsback and Eben Ice Caves.

Eliza Groll, freshman  art education major, said she stays active and happy in the winter time by working out.

“I take dance classes year round and in the winter dancing helps me be active inside while it’s snowing,” Groll said. “There are also intramural sports at the PEIF going on while I’m there. Those are good activities for students to get involved in.

“Drinking hot chocolate or tea by a fire and crocheting with friends is a fun way of staying indoors and keeping warm.”

Lenny Shible, health promotions specialist of Health Promotions Office also had advice on ways to maintain happiness in the winter.

“Try not to isolate yourself,” Shible said. “Be around your friends as much and you can. Laugh and smile as much as possible.”

Shible also recommended eating healthy and participating in activities with others in your resident hall.

“Volunteering will make you feel better about yourself,” Shible said. “Increasing the Vitamin D by eating as many fruits and veggies as you can will boost your attitute as well.”

For more information on how to beat winter blues, call Counseling and Consultation Services Office at (906)227-2980, or the Health Promotion Office at (906)227-2980.