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Tip of the Week: It's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Are your eating habits healthy? Are you dissatisfied with your body or have an intense fear of gaining weight? Do you over-exercise, restrict calories or think about food all the time? Help could be just a click away. Health & Counseling offers free online eating disorders screenings as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week which is held every February. If you are concerned about your eating habits or those of a friend, you may find this easy, anonymous online screening to be helpful. Just log onto Once you take the screening you will receive immediate feedback with your score and referral information to campus resources if appropriate.How to beat the winter blues

We've all been snowed in for most of February and the temperature has been too cold for much outdoor activity. What can we do…hibernate until May? As soon as the temperatures climb above 20 degrees make sure you get outside and let some sunlight find you. Long periods without much sunlight can really drain your body and spirit. As many as one in 20 people actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and may benefit from light therapy. Symptoms of SAD include mood swings, change in sleep patterns, cravings for sweets or starches, and chronic fatigue. Considering the lack of sunlight this time of year in Geneseo, make sure you take care of yourself, exercise, and get out in some sunlight as much as possible. Here are some ideas to rejuvenate you this winter both physically and spiritually:

1. Take a walk.2. Eat healthy.3. Go ice skating.4. Visit a greenhouse.5. Join a club.6. Build a snowman.7. Decorate your room.8. Join an intramural team.9. Walk instead of driving.10. Do yoga, pilates or tae-bo.11. Plan your Spring Break.12. Dance.13. Create an indoor garden.14. Go swimming.15. Volunteer.16. Drink lots of water.17. Go to the movies.18. Get a workout buddy.19. Ski, tube or sled.20. Buy flowers.21. Play board games.22. Buy some cool outdoor gear.23. Get a massage24. Visualize spring.25. Reward yourself for getting exercise outdoors in the cold.

Question: I have noticed within the past two or three years that during the winter months I feel depressed. I have lost my appetite, I have no energy, and I don't even feel that it's necessary to even leave my bed to get out of class. I feel worthless. However, during late spring and into late autumn I feel "normal." What should I do?

Answer: It sounds like you could have a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD experience sometimes severe depression, but only during the winter months. There are several very effective forms of treatment for SAD, but the most important thing to do is seek help. To schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor, call Counseling Services at 245-5716. You can also check our Web site ( to find information about depression as well as take our online depression screening. Question: I'm on a diet, but I don't want to give up my social life. Which should I drink, beer or mixed drinks? Or should I just take shots?

Answer: If you are watching your caloric intake, alcohol in general should be cut out or minimized. You can still have a social life, but drink club soda with a twist if you are concerned about not having a drink in your hand. When you do want a drink, try a glass of white wine or a wine spritzer. It really isn't about what you drink, but how much you drink.

(This column is courtesy of the Lauderdale Center for Student Health and Counseling. YAWA is an anonymous, online Q & A Service on the Health & Counseling Web site. If you have a question for YAWA, log onto