Stop Falling For The Fall Blues

With the weather starting to change, nights getting longer and the half-way point of the semester getting closer, sometimes the blues can start to creep in. Despite fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving coming into sight, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed and lower than normal during this point of the semester. As students, we have a lot on our plates - grades, school work, social lives, home life, and other a variety of other commitments.

Growing up in the UK, at the end of every October we used to have a “half-term”, this would be a week of holiday to rest and hang out with friends, stopping the flow of school life and busy brains to re-energize for the remaining part of the term. When I started school in the US I was shocked that no one has a half-term. There is no break from the beginning of the semester in September until Thanksgiving which is basically at the end of the semester and it is only a couple of days off. It wasn’t a surprise to me to see my friends and other students start to burn out and get sick at the end of the semester.  

I think any student reading this can relate to feeling like this at some point during the semester. It doesn’t matter whether you are a first-year student experiencing college for the first time, or a senior, we all can feel like this no matter how many times we have experienced the rises and falls of a semester. 

                                                                         Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Here are some suggestions on how to stop falling to the fall blues, getting sick and burning yourself out. These may seem basic, or even repetitive advice you have heard in the past, but I believe if you can incorporate some of these into your daily life you will feel better.

1. Take Time To Be With Yourself

We spend so much time hanging out with friends, working with peers in the classroom and sitting at our desks, being a daughter/ son, sister/ brother, and playing the many other roles in different parts of our lives. But, how much time do you spend with yourself every day? When was the last time you shut out the outside world and spent half an hour just being with yourself? It may sound silly but I think it can be useful to just hang out with yourself, whether that’s writing in a journal or painting your nails or watching your favorite YouTube channel. 

2. Get Good Sleep

As a student, sleep can sometimes seem like a dream. But it is important we prioritize it and schedule it into our day. As a minimum we should be getting 6 hours of sleep, ideally, we should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep, but that is not always possible. If you find it difficult to drift off, try using a white noise app or meditate beforehand. Personally, I like to put lavender in my diffuser and turn on my string lights to help me wind down from the day. You could even try a weighted blanket, some studies have shown that this can really improve your quality of sleep. Sleeping will also help you stay healthy, so you’ll be less likely to get sick and reach for those tissues!

3. Eat Well

How many friends do you talk to and suddenly they say, “I haven’t eaten today!” Food is a basic need that we must have throughout the day, including breakfast at the very beginning. Make sure you eat enough calories every day and eat GOOD food, that means not living off Chick Fil A and snacks buried in your dorm. Eat fruits and vegetables and drink a good amount of water to stay hydrated and alert! If you do this, I’m sure you will start to feel a difference and stop reaching for the coffee machine every hour. 

Hopefully, after reading this you feel assured that many students feeling like this half-way through the semester. There are small adjustments we can all make to help us feel better, including reaching out and talking to someone. Don’t feel afraid to share how you are feeling with others. Hopefully, these tips will help you not fall for the fall blues.

                                                                  Photo Courtesy of Pixabay