When even the sun decides to pack it in at 4:45pm, it can be very hard to persuade yourself not to do the same.
The winter months can sometimes feel like a long, uphill battle when all you want to do is wrap up in a duvet or hang out with a dog.
But why does this happen? Is everything really less fun than staying in bed, or are we overreacting?
The good news? No, you're not overreacting. (And yes, most things are now less fun than staying in bed. Sorry. Check back in March when going outside is good again). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – also called winter depression, winter blues and seasonal depression – is very real, and characterised by a period of depression that occurs around the same time every year.
Symptoms of SAD include:
The last two are not on the NHS website.
Well, the science still isn't clear. But researchers agree that those who suffer from it have one thing in common:
We are all very sensitive to light.
With less sunlight in the winter months, our brains want us to hibernate. Lethargy kicks in and everything feels a lot harder than it did back in August.
Again, science isn't really sure. But there's a wide spectrum of severity, and how you deal with SAD depends on how much you suffer.
There are some simple things you can do:
If you ever feel as though you’re not coping, speak to your GP as soon as possible.
Your university also has a safe, non-judgmental counselling service where you can speak to somebody in confidence. And the student listening service Nightline is there to help you.