The winter is coming with freezing air and heavy snow. This is not only the time for family gatherings and big holidays, but also is the time to enjoy the falling snowflakes and various indoor and outdoor activities, which makes winter such an amazing season of the year. However, winter in reality is not always as pleasant as we hope to since many people have been experiencing several negative feelings ranging from boredom, tiredness to anxiety, stress, and even depression. This phenomenon is referred to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Although I did not have extreme experience of stress or depression, I did frequently find myself having no interest to do anything and feeling pessimistic for no reason. Personally, I really hate the feeling of unproductiveness during this time of the year, especially when we still have about half of the semester to go. For those people who are experiencing the same things with me, I want to share some tips that I think can help you all boost your mood and turn a tiring winter day into a productive day.
- Go outside and get sunlight at least once a day
There has been research on the link between a lack of exposure to sunshine and SAD in different age groups. Although there are concerns about the link, it is widely accepted that a significant reduce in total duration of sunshine in one day during winter can cause SAD. Therefore, I highly recommend that you should spend time being outdoor every day to get an adequate amount of sunshine. I am unsure how long we need to expose to get that essential amount of sunlight, but I suggest you can do that simply by walking to classes and other places on campus. However, if you really dislike the cold weather, you can find a spot inside which is near a large window to study and get sunlight at the same time. I suggest you check the library, there are plenty of study and relaxing spots that you can enjoy the sunshine without having to endure the freezing air.
- Keeping warm
It is essential to keep yourself warm. The sudden change of temperature happening frequently these days can make you more susceptible to many sources of diseases. Being sick can affect your well-being, which can also lead to SAD, and significantly to your productivity. It is not good at all to be sick when we almost reach the end of the semester. Because of that, make sure that your closet has winter coat, sweater, gloves, scarf, and boots. If you are unable to go shopping for these items, you can visit the Free xChange at Allison Hall. For people who need to go out frequently, I suggest you prepare heat pack that is small and convenient to carry around. This item is various in types; but two most common types are the pocket heat to keep your hands warm and the sticky heat pack to stick anywhere on your clothes.
- Enjoy pleasant smell
Imagine that you have finished all your classes and come back to your dorm, what can be better than entering a room full of pleasant smell? Good smell can help you relaxed and light up your mood. By bringing back positive feelings, enjoy pleasant scent will reduce your possibility of experiencing SAD. There are plenty ways to make your room smell amazing. Firstly, it is important to clean the wastebasket regularly to eliminate unpleasant odors. Moreover, since the college does not allow candles in dorm, I suggest that you can use air freshener or put some oil in the humidifier to bring good scent to your room.
- Treat yourself with favorite hot beverage
Always remember to treat yourself! There are several options available at the Quarry and the Biblio café such as hot chocolate, hot chai latte, hot coffee, or hot tea. Recently, their menu has added a new coffee originated from Cuba, which is called Cortadito. I really enjoy the sweat whipped sugar cream on the top and the strong expresso at the bottom of this drink. You should give it a try.
SAD can happen to anyone. The seasonal change, the increasing amount of workload at the end of the semester and many other stress sources can significantly affect your well-being. It has happened to me, which was an extremely uncomfortable and frustrating experience. I do not want anybody to go through the same thing. Therefore, I have come up with these tips to help you fight back SAD, and I hope you may find at least one that suits you. Thank you for reading my article and I wish you have a joyful winter.