How to spot the signs and deal with seasonal depression as a Sussex student

With the shorter days approaching and summer officially over, it’s all too common to experience seasonal depression.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as seasonal depression, is a common occurrence for people already dealing with mental health issues and those not at the start of the winter months. In fact, studies have shown that the peak of this for most is likely to be in early November.

It is important to help take care of yourself and your friends. The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and depression are very similar. These include: sad or low mood, feeling fatigued, loss of interest, increased appetite and cravings for carbohydrates, difficulty or excessive sleepiness, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of hopelessness and despair.

These symptoms will vary in severity; some may find that they impact their relationships with others, and some may find them debilitating. But it’s important to remember that this condition is much worse than the “winter blues.” If your symptoms last for a season or start with the change of seasons, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust or a mental health professional.

How can you tackle it?


This increases endorphins, which clears the mind and reduces stress levels. There are many unique places in and around Brighton to channel your inner Bear Grylls, including the South Downs, Stanmer Park and the White Cliffs.

Meet friends

Winter can be a very isolating time, so it’s essential to try to socialize when you can and enjoy coffee and cake with your best friends. Keep an eye out for social activities happening on campus, and maybe even try out a new society!

Embrace the cozy vibes

Yes, this is a genuine recommendation. The Danish concept of Hygge revolves around filling your surroundings with warmth and autumn colours, making you completely forget about the previous summer months. What better excuse is there to remodel your college room?

Try Watching More Fall Shows and Movies

Gilmore Girls, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and Love Really (for approaching the holiday season) are all great choices to get you more in the spirit of the season. You could even head to Brighton Marina if you fancy a day trip!


Trying to center your mind and body for a few moments a day can benefit your mental health. If you want to find the best ways to start for you try this link or alternatively attend classes from Sussex Yoga Societies, you can find their weekly schedules here.

Try to get a sleep pattern

In college this is rare, but if you manage to get into the smallest routine with your sleep, it can significantly affect your mood for the better!

Try a new hobby

Whether it’s coloring, pestering your housemates with a new instrument, or just a short daily walk, a little hobby will help combat the feeling of “losing yourself” you may feel due to SAD.

Sussex Uni students can access resources here for advice and support to get help with any mental health issue.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• We asked international students from Sussex about their biggest culture shocks.

• Professors at the University of Sussex will be on strike for three days this month

• Music students take over Brighton’s music scene

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