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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Snow fills in the letters of the Park Street pedestrian bridge following an overnight snowstorm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during winter on December 30, 2020. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Seasonal depression: Too soon?

Autumn, for many, is a cherished and widely adored season. Fall brings me joy, whether it's sipping on Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte along State Street, witnessing the leaves transform into stunning displays of orange, yellow and red, or feeling the pleasantly brisk yet not overly cold breeze in the air. However, this joy is short-lived if you call Madison home. 

Winter has never been my forte. I am from San Diego, where “winter” means 60 degrees and a hoodie. We trade the beautiful leaves and gray atmosphere for pumpkin spice and decent beach weather. The sudden shift in temperature seems insignificant. But for me, it's significant. 

To trade the year-round coastal breeze for the harsh Midwestern winter takes some getting used to. The crisp autumn air quickly transitions into something colder and less forgiving. The winter chill sets in with unwavering determination, seemingly unbothered by the protests of newcomers.

Although it might be too soon to say that “seasonal depression” is in full effect, it's always important to keep your head up. The transition from the vibrant and invigorating days of summer to the cooler and darker months of autumn and winter indeed bring about a sense of melancholy. It's not uncommon for motivation levels to wane as the days grow shorter and colder.

However, even during these challenging times, there are small steps we can take to combat the encroaching gloom. Allocate just 15 minutes of your day to carefully plan and organize your tasks, whether it's for the week ahead or just the day at hand. This seemingly modest time investment can work wonders to dispel the overwhelming feeling that often accompanies season changes. As I create a clear plan and set achievable goals, it helps me regain a sense of control and purpose, which can provide a much-needed mood and motivation boost.

In these moments, it's essential to remember your mental wellness is just as important as your physical health. By proactively managing your tasks and focusing on the positives that each season brings, you can ward off the looming shadows of seasonal affective disorder and ensure a more balanced and contented state of mind. 

Even as the leaves fall and the temperature drops, remember to keep your head up as well as embrace the beauty and opportunities each season offers.

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