CALS Wellness Committee tip: Making the most of the winter, with or without seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

On Sunday, November 6, we turned our clocks back one hour. This means different things for different people. 

For some, winter is wonderful. It may be the changing of the seasons, the cold, snow, and/or the unique outdoor activities that are associated with winter and snow. Here are a few outdoor activities you may choose to enjoy this winter:

  • Downhill skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice-skating
  • Ice fishing
  • Winter hike (check out the UW Arboretum’s trails)

For some, winter means seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is defined in this UWHealth article as “a recurrent form of depression that occurs primarily in winter months. Symptoms of SAD include feeling down, loss of interest or pleasure in things usually enjoyed, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, weight and sleep disturbance and a sense of hopelessness.” According to the article, 4-6% of the U.S. population is affected by SAD, while 10-20% of the population experience a milder form of SAD.

Ways to cope with the winter blues include:

  • Stay connected
  • Light therapy
  • Exercise
  • Vitamin D-3
  • Self-care

Read more about these coping strategies in the UWHealth article.

Please allow yourself and others grace this winter season as it affects everyone differently. 

Be well!