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

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

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly referred to as seasonal depression, is a common occurrence for people who already deal with mental health struggles and those that don’t at the beginning of the winter months. In fact, studies have shown that the peak of this for most is likely to be in early November.

It’s important to help look out for yourself and your friends. The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression are very similar. These include: sad or low mood, feeling fatigued, a loss of interest, an increased appetite and craving for carbohydrates, difficulty or excessive sleeping, suicidal thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and despair.

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

How can you tackle it?


This boosts your endorphins which clears your mind and reduces stress levels. There is plenty of unique places in and around Brighton to channel your inner Bear Grylls, such as the South Downs, Stanmer Park and the white cliffs.

Meet up with friends

The winter can be a very isolating time, so it’s essential to try and socialise when you can and treat yourself to a coffee and cake with your besties! Keep an eye out for any socials happening around campus, and maybe even try out a new society!

Embrace the cosy vibes

Yes, this is a genuine recommendation. The Danish concept of Hygge revolves around filling your surroundings with cosiness and autumnal colours, making you forget all about the summer months prior. What better excuse is there to redo your uni room?

Try watching more Autumn shows and movies

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


Trying to centre 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, maybe attend the Sussex yoga societies classes, you can find their weekly schedules here. 

Try and get a sleep pattern

In university, this is rare, but if you manage to get into the smallest of routines with your sleep, it can significantly impact your moods for the better!

Try out a new hobby

Whether it’s colouring in, annoying your housemates with a new instrument or just a short daily walk, a small hobby will help combat the sense of ‘losing yourself’ that you may feel due to SAD.

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

Related stories recommended by this writer:

We asked Sussex’s international students about their biggest culture shocks

University of Sussex lecturers will be striking for three days this month

The student musicians taking over the Brighton music scene