PROVO — Early winter blues got you down? There are some bright solutions on the horizon.
“It’s just depressing when it’s winter and it’s cold and it’s just like you want to go out but you can’t,” said BYU student Aleska Ortega.
For Ortega and many others, as the daylight hours get shorter and shorter, happiness also starts to feel like it’s in short supply. This is connected with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “S.A.D.”
So, how do people cope with the gloom?
“Sometimes I just do nothing about it; it’s whatever,” says Provo resident Cassie Lyman. She also notes that watching certain TV shows helps her feel better, like House MD.
People do their best to come up with coping strategies. Therapist Zach Goulding, who works at a mental health facility for teens, has some bright ideas, including light therapy.
“There’s a lot of different companies that make specific lights that increase your UV exposure, because with the lack of sunlight in the wintertime, that UV exposure messes with your serotonin levels in your brain,” Goulding says.
“Doing something that you’re motivated by, whether it’s getting a book club together or playing games with friends,” he adds.
With ever-improving perspectives on mental health issues, it’s good that we can shed more light on important problems like these. Until then, stay lit, Provo!