We've reached that moment in the school year when there's that strange time gap between midterms and finals, but there's no time to wind down because they're just a little too close together. With the seasons changing and clocks turning back an hour, it's easy to fall into the rut that is seasonal depression. If you've been experiencing overwhelming feelings of fatigue, demotivation, and glum, consider getting back on the grind with these methods to beat the blues.

Take advantage of sunlight.

Bellingham trees photo by Madison Nickel (@madison_nickel) on Unsplash

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Instead of spending an additional few hours in bed scrolling through your Instagram feed, bundle up and take a stroll to your favourite local cafe. Absorbing as much sunlight as you possibly can before it begins to get dark again is key to making your days feel longer and well-spent. If you're cooped up in the library studying, try to find a seat by a window that lets in natural light. Sun rays are proven to boost your mood!

Too cold to go out?

Maximize your time spent indoors by spending it with people who lift your mood. Spending your time isolated and alone only makes the day drag on. This would be a perfect opportunity to collect your family and friends for a movie night, or cook a meal with your housemates.

Avoid locking yourself in the house.

Do some searching for fun events and activities organized in your community. Most cities cater to the cold weather by opening skating rinks and hosting holiday markets. Jump at any opportunity to embrace the season rather than letting it bring you down.

Adjust your sleep schedule.

Is the sun setting at 5pm every evening dampening your spirits? Work with the forces of nature–try going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier, therefore maximizing your time spent awake during daylight hours.

Try Vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D boosts your immune system and protects your body against infection during cold and flu season. Supplements of the "sunshine vitamin" can compensate for your lack of natural sunlight during this time of year, however, it shouldn't be the only way you consume this important vitamin. Consider altering your diet to include foods enriched with Vitamin D, such as orange juice and fatty fish.

Consider light therapy.

Forever Never photo by GREG KANTRA (@gregkantra) on Unsplash

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If your case of seasonal depression is more severe, and altering your daily routine isn't helping, light therapy might be for you. This involves exposing yourself to an artificial light which is significantly brighter than your average light bulb. It mimics natural daylight but is not harmful to the eyes. Light exposure in intervals as short as 10-15 minutes a day can lead to notable improvement and positive results in a matter of days. The mimicking of sunlight can boost your mood and increase productivity levels, starting your day right.

Don't forget about self-care.

It is especially important during this time of year to take time to evaluate your mental and physical health, and alter your routine accordingly. As always, make sure you're eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising regularly. All of these help lift your mood, give you energy throughout the day, and ensure that you remain productive even when times get tough.

Snow in mittens photo by freestocks.org (@freestocks) on Unsplash

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Though these are all worthwhile starting points to tend to your seasonal depression, there are plenty of campus resources available to assist you in your journey. Take advantage of the tips and tricks offered by Student Academic Success Services, make a counselling appointment with Student Wellness Services, or drop by the Peer Support Centre to talk to a fellow student (remember: no issue is too big or too small). With all these resources at your service, you can tackle depression head-on, and reclaim your motivation to get you through the season.