The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

The Student News Site of Flintridge Sacred Heart

Veritas Shield

Tologs vs Winter Slump: Who’s winning?

A fellow Tolog battling the winter slump. Photo by Carly Norton ’26

As the celebrations of Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s become distant memories and the freshness of the second semester fades, Tologs find themselves confronting a formidable enemy: the phenomenon known as the winter slump. Symptoms of this slump, which extends from the end of holiday break to the eagerly awaited arrival of spring break, include a profound lack of motivation and a significant dip in overall mood.

Is there anything we can do to combat it? The first step is understanding why the winter season can affect a person’s disposition so heavily.

According to, days become increasingly longer after the Winter Solstice, the point in the year in which the northern hemisphere tilts farthest away from the Sun.

The result? Longer days with less sunlight and colder temperatures, a combination that spells trouble for even the most upbeat attitudes and personalities.

“My motivation is lost and the cold weather consumes and dictates my attitude and happiness,” Ena Ramsey ‘26 said.

Juliette Smith ’26 agreed. “I love the warm weather and having something to look forward to. In winter, the weather is gloomy and cold and everything starts slowing down,” Ramsey said.

People suffer through the winter slump to different degrees. Some experience a small dip in motivation, but this can resolve itself with time. Others, however, find it harder to pull themselves out of this slump.

Someone dealing with severe symptoms of a winter slump may be experiencing what is known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. This is a type of depression that affects up to 10% of people in the United States, according to The New York Times. SAD is four times more common in women than men, and symptoms include dark moods, low self-esteem and feelings of despair.

SAD is related to the changes in seasons. It most often occurs during fall to winter and can dissipate as spring and summer approach. Treatment for SAD can include light therapy, which induces chemical changes in the brain to enhance your mood and reduce other symptoms.

“Some of the treatments for it are light boards that you can get, and you can expose yourself to that which will help you with seasonal depression,” Ms. Nicole Nardon, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at FSHA, said.

Others might experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Based on the Cleveland Clinic’s research, PMDD affects up to 10% of women in the US and symptoms include severe depression, irritability or anxiety.

PMDD can vary for each individual’s cycle, and it’s important to understand that sometimes mood changes can be heavily influenced by an increase in hormones.

“I think it’s important for people to know about it [PMDD] because maybe somebody would think they have seasonal affective disorder but it may be more hormonal,” Nardon said.

Some treatments for PMDD include medication, dietary changes, regular exercise and stress management tools. According to Rational Psychiatry, a quarter of patients with PMDD had worsening symptoms during the winter.

While winter brings about a handful of challenges, there are also things to appreciate about the change of the seasons. Most people during winter tend to stay indoors to avoid the dreadful weather, and while staying home on the weekends may sound dull, it actually presents opportunities for quality time with loved ones and friends, as well as a time to engage in cozy activities, which can make winter feel much less lonely.

“Being at home, spending time with my family—that’s my safe place. That’s where I find the most comfort,” Caitlin Norton ‘24 said.

Others may benefit from some time alone during winter, finding comfort in their own company and the peacefulness of solitude.

“Sometimes I get overwhelmed and need to be isolated from everyone ’cause it calms me down… I find a lot of happiness just chilling in my room,” Isabella Costanzo ‘24 said.

During this long stretch before spring break, finding reasons to stay positive is vital. Many Tologs have found that having something to look forward to during winter has been helpful in terms of helping them cope with feelings of low mood. For example, some Tologs find comfort in anticipating small, enjoyable events.

“I try to enhance my mood in winter by giving myself small things to look forward to like a late start, early dismissal, days off from school or making plans with friends,” Smith said.

Others emphasize self-care, incorporating routines that enhance mood, such as watching shows before bedtime, self-care sessions and practicing the adage of “look good, feel good.”

“I try to take time for self-care… the ‘look good feel good’ saying is really apparent to me during the winter as I feel more motivated when I look nice,” Ramsey said.

During times like these, Tologs also greatly appreciate the Wellness Room in Cottage 2 and Nurse Kathy’s office by the junior parking lot. Both destinations are safe spaces for Tologs if they’re feeling stressed, anxious or have caught a winter cold.

“The Wellness Room at school helps me because if I get stressed I can go there and take those 15 minutes to decompress… I love Nurse Kathy because she’s always been able to help me, especially when I start feeling overwhelmed.” Costanzo said.

By implementing coping strategies and fostering a sense of community support, Tologs are demonstrating resilience in the face of the winter slump, reminding themselves and others that brighter days lie ahead.

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About the Contributor
Carly Norton
Carly Norton, Staff Writer
Sophomore Carly Norton is a new staff writer for the Veritas Shield. She is eager to enhance her writing skills in contributing to the paper. In her free time, Carly enjoys reading, scrolling through Pinterest, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.

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