September 28, 2020

Conestoga’s counselling and health services can help you fight the winter blues

BY JEFF BOMBEN

With winter right around the corner, faculty, staff and students at Conestoga College are preparing for the season change but for some adjusting is a real challenge.

Some students struggle during this time of year, eventually becoming depressed. However, Conestoga College is here to help.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that has been around for 150 years.

SAD is caused by the lack of sunlight and shorter days. It’s a disorder that over two per cent of all population in Ontario struggles with.

People over 20 years of age are most susceptible to this disorder. However, as people grow older the number of people affected decreases.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), SAD is more likely to affect women.

The disorder effects the most people during January and February.

Conestoga has teamed up with both Counselling Services and Health Services to give students every opportunity to fight the winter blues.

The counselling offices are located in Room 1A101 in the lower atrium of the Doon campus. Students are encouraged to ask questions and set up meetings with counsellors.

Health Services is located across the hall in Room 1A102. Students can book appointments, free of charge, to receive advice and more information from health-care professionals.

Jamie Reiner, a first-year recreation and leisure services student, is noticing a mood swing in some people already. 

“I definitely notice change in people’s moods when the winter rolls around because the day seems shorter and everyone gets tired and boring; winter only seems good for outdoor rinks in Canada,” Reiner said.

According to CHMA, symptoms of SAD include low energy, changes in mood, increased sleep and larger appetite with possible weight gain. Some students will also experience lack of concentration during classes.

To fight the winter blues, get outside as much as possible. Being active improves your mood and builds self-esteem. Weight gain can also be eliminated by staying active.

CMHA recommends helping someone struggling with SAD by offering your support. Inspire your friend and help him understand that SAD is just a phase.

Try doing simple things for the person such as grabbing food at the grocery store or even picking up dry-cleaning. Let that person know that you’re there for him.

For more information on SAD, go to www.cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?=3-86-93

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