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Overcoming Winter Blues

We all know that mental health issues have become an epidemic in our country today. And, those issues become especially intensified as the darkness of winter brings on the “winter blues.” Maybe that’s why October contains National Depression Education Month, National Mental Health Awareness Week, and National Emotion Awareness Month. Do you think they’re trying to tell us something?

Fighting the Winter Blues

But, while there’s no question that “the blues” are more prevalent during the winter, science has also discovered that there are things we can do to keep them at bay and cheer ourselves up.

The mini-lesson “Overcoming Winter Blues” provides students with 6 at-home or in-the-classroom steps to help alleviate the depression caused by seasonal affective disorder—or the “winter blues.”

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects nearly 40% of Americans and many young people are especially susceptible to the depression, lack of concentration, agitation, hopelessness, and interrupted sleep caused by this disorder.

Thankfully, for many people, simple fixes like getting midday sunshine, keeping warm, being with friends, or learning something new can alleviate those symptoms.

Using the Lesson

Help students develop a lifetime of good winter habits with this mini-lesson and interactive calendar.

  1. Introduce the concept. Describe the “winter blues.” Allow students to relate their personal experiences. Chart the symptoms they feel when the world is cold and dark.

  2. Read the lesson. Discuss the 6 “fixes” for the winter blues. How can students incorporate those activities into their school day? At home?

  3. Provide the calendar. Give each student a print-out of the calendar and challenge students to complete activities in each section. Depending on your students, provide a reward/acknowledgement for all students who complete the activities on the calendar.

  4. Analyze progress. Have students analyze if these steps helped them manage the winter blues. Can they think of other activities that might help more?

For More Information

Like all lessons in the Daily Living Skills series, this lesson meets transition standards under IDEA ’04 by providing life skills to support independence. For more information on the books in the series or for information on professional development opportunities in transition, go to our store or our TPT store.

Download PDF • 1.11MB


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