Editorial: students face seasonal depression

Students walk the halls with bigger bags under their eyes than on their backs. The stressful winter months are taking their toll.
The time of year between Christmas and Spring Break is the toughest for students and probably teachers to push through. Shorter daylight, mountains of school work, lack of extended breaks and fewer social interaction brings about a period of seasonal depression.
Seasonal depression results when levels of melatonin, a chemical that causes people to become tired and lethargic, are significantly increased. Also, the amount of stress students feel during second semester as they face second semester’s amped up projects and class requirements does not help. It is not easy for students to juggle seven classes, especially when each one is piling on the work. It is very easy for seniors to slip into senioritis and give up on the semester, and underclassmen face the same lack of motivation, too.
Students often complain that their lack of motivation comes from teachers’ styles. Because some teachers can fall into seasonal depression as well, their teaching styles may become less lively and morph into a series of tired monologues. That makes the situation even more critical.
Finally, students can slip into seasonal depression due to the wet, cold weather that Indiana is experiencing. Because they spend less time outside, students have even less face-to-face interaction with each other. Time on social media does not fill the void and actually can hurt self-confidence as students compare their lives to those they see on screens.
While seasonal depression can affect everyone, the Timberlines staff recommends some ways to battle it.

•Take vitamins and go to tanning beds to decrease melatonin levels
•Taking time for self-care by taking baths, reading books, enjoying facemasks and baking
•Get a job or join an extracurricular to increase socialization
•Put a focus on spending time with friends face-to-face
•Talk to a trusted adult or call 1-800-662-HELP to talk about problems and get support.
Use the resources provided to overcome seasonal depression.
Remember: Spring Break is on its way.

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