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Wellness

Winter Blues? Aches, Pains and Everything Else…

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

*Disclaimer: this article is not offering medical advice, just suggestions on what helps this author feel better*

Christmas is over, January has come around and chances are everyone is feeling the blues this time of year. The magic has gone, there’s not much to look forward too and if you’re anything like me, cold and flu season kicks you whilst you’re down. 

I don’t think it’s possible to avoid the sniffles, the aches, the cough or the tiredness (even if that’s just from exams) this time of year. We also have the dreaded COVID keeping us on alert: regular lateral flows and staring in fear when someone coughs… we’ve all been there over the last two years. Yet, one thing that really gets me down this time of year is illness. Personally I can never avoid it. From the sniffle or just feeling absolutely exhausted and achy, it’s important to remember to take time to rest and recover. 

So, if you’re reading this, thinking “oh my god I feel the exact same” here are some helpful tips and suggestions to keep us all calm, cosy and healthy!

Listen to your body

Our bodies are really good at telling us when they aren’t feeling up to scratch. Spots, bags under the eyes, achy joints: these are all symptoms that your body is struggling this time of year. It’s important to keep well rested, well hydrated and well fed. Even if you find yourself being crushed by deadlines and social commitments, it’s okay to take some time off. Rest up, scale back on the drinking and stay in: all controversial acts for those who like heading out at the weekend. If you ignore it, chances are you’ll only get worse. Respond to what your body is telling you – it knows!

Care packages

These particularly cheer me up when I am feeling low and poorly. If you are strong enough get to the shops and stock up on the essentials. I’m talking tissues, chocolate, Vaseline, paracetamol and Lemsip. They can be really good at boosting your mood but also looking after your physical health too. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, I often go to Poundland and grab all of the things I need for under £7! I also like doing these for my friends if they are feeling low, poorly or just a bit absent. It’s a nice reminder that you are around and thinking of them. 

Rest

Imperative for both the body and mind! Like I mentioned above, it can be difficult to juggle having a break when your life is chaotic and full of things to do. Even if you are struggling to find the time around work, take small rest breaks. It could be an episode of your current series, a chapter from a book, making a hot drink or listening to a podcast. These will all divert your mind from the chaos, take some weight off your shoulders and help your body recover. I love picking up a good book, snuggling with a blanket and a cuppa tea. Whatever makes you feel calm, do it. 

Planning

When I am ill, it always helps to have something to look forward to when I am better. If you’re poorly and bed bound, arrange to meet with a friend in a couple weeks to do something nice. We are really lucky that Exeter has some lovely spots for brunch, dinner or drinks as well as some lovely walking spaces such as the Quay or a nearby beach. Having something to look forward to can be a great mood booster as well as subtly encouraging your brain to get better and into action. 

Its really important to remember that a lot of what you do contributes to your own health. Both mental and physical health are pivotal in helping us do the things we do everyday. Be aware of your body and what it is trying to tell you. Recuperate and kick those winter blues away! 

Megan Barber

Exeter '23

20 years old, History Undergraduate. Spending most of my time eating, reading or planning my next adventure!
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