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Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy in the Winter

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Albany chapter.

As the sky gets dark earlier and the temperature drops, it’s important that we keep up with both our physical and mental health. Our routines must change with the weather to ensure we stay at the top of our game for the end of the semester. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re warm, healthy, and happy through these next few months:

1. Invest in a real winter coat

It doesn’t have to be name brand or cost hundreds of dollars, but a proper winter coat is essential – especially considering our campus is in upstate New York. A hoodie or sweater just won’t cut it, even if you layer up. Stores like H&M have a range of options between puffer jackets and parkas for under $100. Here is a puffer coat from H&M that I personally own. It’s $39.99 and will keep you very warm, especially if you pair it with a sweatshirt and scarf. The only downside is this specific jacket does not have a hood attached, so you will have to wear a hat depending on how cold it gets on a given day.


2. Layer up!

I know layering can seem bulky and impeding on one’s fashion, but it does make a difference when the temperature begins to really drop. It can also be done in a fashionable way. Just make sure you are buying sweaters and shirts that you like. Plain hoodies are easily styled with added jewelry, shoes, and a good pair of pants. You can be warm and still look cute!

3. Drink lots and lots of tea

In terms of hot drinks, coffee is often more favored with college students, but tea has more health benefits and you can make it easily in your dorm or home. If you still need a caffeine fix, black teas and some green teas have caffeine. Peppermint tea, my personal favorite, soothes your throat and help with stomach aches. Chamomile tea has calming effects and can be helpful to drink before bed. There are a variety of teas with many different benefits and it is both a cheaper and healthier option than coffee.

4. Consider buying a sunlight lamp

A sunlight lamp produces artificial white light that mimics the sun. This can be helpful for people with seasonal depression. Sun lamps are said to increase serotonin levels and improve the sleep cycle during times where there isn’t enough sunlight during the day. In a place like Albany, sun during the winter is short lived and can negatively impact you subconsciously. If you sense that you feel different during the winter, buying a sun lamp may make these winter days easier on your mental. Unfortunately, sun lamps can go upwards of $50, but there are cheaper options on Amazon. The sun lamp linked below goes for $26.99.


5. Don’t stop socializing

The cold weather can encourage isolation, even for those who enjoy being social all the time. The weather also makes traveling harder as roads become harder to drive on, and buses get delayed. However, it is still very important to make time to surround yourself with people you care about. Seasonal mental illness will also encourage you to remain in solitude, but it is worth it to fight against that feeling. Whether it is meeting with friends for a weekly coffee date, or having group study sessions, the winter will be much easier to handle with the help and support of others.

6. Utilize the wellness services provided by the campus

Talking to people about your wellbeing can be intimidating, especially if you have never done it before. However, if you find yourself struggling to figure out your thoughts and emotions, it may be worth it to discuss with someone versed in mental health. Even if you do not have a diagnosed mental illness, sometimes it’s just relieving to express your feelings to someone who won’t place any judgement onto you. Here at UAlbany we have a few different means of seeking counseling. CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) is located off campus at 400 Patroon Creek Boulevard in Suite 104. You can get to CAPS by taking the Route 4 shuttle bus or by taking the 712 CDTA line. The counselors at CAPS are psychologists or training psychologists and there is no payment necessary, just like the University Health Center. We also have a student run assistance program called Middle Earth, which is a free telephone hotline you can call to simply even talk about your day. It is a program run by students, for students and you have the option of being anonymous. The hours for the hotline are Monday through Thursday 1pm through midnight, and 24 hours from Friday through Sunday. The number is (518)-442-5777. They also have an online hotline, Middle Earth Café, which is helpful if you don’t want to speak to anyone. Please note, the online hotline is not monitored 24/7.

If you are in an urgent situation or emergency do not call the hotline, please contact emergency services.

Remember, you are important, and you are loved. Have a safe winter.