The January Blues; How we really should be handling it

by Ellie Hughes, Feature Editor

A new year brings new expectations and the prospect of upstaging the last 12 months can be very exciting, but it can also be extremely draining. You might feel like you should be celebrating all you have accomplished this past year, but for some reason, you find yourself just feeling unmotivated. Could it be the endless work you have to catch up on? Fulfilling the numerous commitments you’ve made? Just trying to get out of bed on a dark, cold morning? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a case of the “January Blues” and you are not alone. 

Over ten million Americans experience cases of the January Blues, better known as seasonal depression every year. 44% of those cases are students between the ages of 12 and 19. Whether minor or extreme, seasonal depression can be acutely debilitating to your mind’s usual bliss. With over 4.4 million students being affected every season, it begs the question, what more should our schools be doing about it?

The answer to this question can be found in our very own halls of Glen Rock High School. After almost two years of being back in school since Covid-19 and about a year without our masks, it is time to get back to living freely again and seeking socialization with our peers. School can be hard to get through sometimes, and with eight  hour days, having something to look forward to once in a while would significantly raise student morale. This is especially true for students who are feeling waves of seasonal depression. Things like pep rallies, half days, and SEL days help, but having smaller, more recurring fun things to do, like food trucks at lunch, or random spirit days would get students excited about coming to school during the long winter months. The impact of these activities would be tremendous, and shouldn’t just be limited to January. As months like March and April approach, outdoor activities like classic field day games, small field trips to Perry’s florist, or community businesses could be just as beneficial. 

Looking more at things we can do individually, after polling some students about what helps them push through when they are feeling this way, it is clear that there are solutions. One junior commented that she likes to get her favorite take-out after school on long days. Two sophomores replied they like to put on their favorite playlist and walk their dogs. Whatever would be beneficial to you, I cannot stress how important it is to find time in your day to focus on it. As said before, a new year can be both exciting and draining, so finding a middle ground that can help you work more efficiently while also setting time aside for yourself is critical this January. Overworking yourself can be counter-productive, so let this new year be a sign to live in the moment more. Everyone deserves a little me-time.