Weathering the winter blues

Mary Catherine Colo , Online Editor

 As I walk through the halls, there is no mistaking the angst and gloom that fills the air. As the winter holidays come to a close and the semester nears its end, the sense of dread within each student is obvious. It is not uncommon for students to be stressed this time of year; many are worried about sports, grades, exams, or internal and external pressures. When these factors are combined with the cold weather and lack of vitamin D, students can feel extremely isolated.

    The gloominess students are feeling is not without an explanation. Many are experiencing symptoms of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression that corresponds to the changing of seasons, otherwise known as seasonal depression. Following the end of COVID-19 restrictions in WSFCS schools, many students have experienced some emotional stress, which has not gone unnoticed by teachers.

    In my experience, teachers understand when their students are struggling, but the timing could not be worse. Many teachers are just trying to prepare their students to do well. More often than not, this means piling on the review packets and extra homework. It is not that they do not recognize struggling students; it is simply the fact they want us to succeed, which sometimes requires a push across the finish line.

    While teachers have our best interest in mind, having a case of seasonal depression can make completing simple tasks that much harder. Some symptoms include oversleeping, drowsiness, and lack of interest in things once enjoyed. Overcoming these feelings to focus is easier said than done. 

    Personally, I have trouble getting out of my own head, but it helps when I take a deep breath. I know it sounds cliché, but a deep breath can really help. Negative self-talk can influence our mood too. Humans have about 70,000 thoughts daily, and sometimes these thoughts can be harmful. If you find yourself believing these thoughts, try to challenge them. Most of the time, you’ll find that the things you worry about are not as monumental as you think. It is essential to monitor our emotions and process them accordingly, even though it may be challenging. 

    To any students that feel like they relate to something described above, it is important to give yourself some grace. If you feel stressed or out of sorts, take a second to think through your thoughts. Trying your best is all you can do, and sometimes, the winter blues may get you down, but it is vital to get back up and keep going. To the students of RJR, you got this! Keep pushing because spring is just around the corner.