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Survive the Mid-Winter Blues! Or greys… or blacks…

As inter-semester break came to a close last week, St. Andrews students trickled back into town to be met with a host of torrential downpours. To me, the period between January and March has always been the worst part of the year. Christmas is over, and spring–especially in Scotland, is a long way away. The lack of holiday spirit and the redundancy of snow can make the cold weather seem dismal rather than cozy. Pair this with the first round of classes since early December, and it is easy to fall into a sort of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or NLMBD (never leaving my bed disorder). Below are some tips to beat the mid-winter blues in St. Andrews!
 

Exercise

 
“Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy!” As overused as this quote is (Elle Woods circa 2001, in case you’re a cultural recluse), it’s true. No matter what else is going on in your life, getting exercise will put you in a better overall mood. The best part is, you don’t have to become a gym rat to reap the benefits of working out (although if you’re feeling ambitious, by all means go for it). An individual sweat session releases the same amount of feel-good-about-yourself waves, the ultimate quick fix!
 

Mid-Winter Cleaning

 
Since we are spending so much time inside at this time of year, it makes sense to have a personal space that is as inviting as possible. By this point in the year, you’ve probably accumulated a ton of stuff–not to mention the Christmas swag we all brought from home after exams. De-cluttering your room or flat is an instant perk up. Nobody is happy in a room that is dark, cold, and brimming with old notebooks and dirty laundry. If you want to do more, invest in a new room accent: a candle, throw pillow or poster in a color that perks you up. It will inject new life into the feel of the room.

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Events

 
From FS and Don’t Walk to Oktoberfest and Afterski, this time of year actually brings some of St. Andrews biggest and most anticipated events. Add to this the wide variety of DJ nights taking place at Ma Belles, Golf Place and Catch Beach Bar throughout the semester and you really have no reason to stay in. Keep going out, human contact is good! A night out with friends is a guaranteed way to feel better.
 

Treat Yourself

 
There’s nothing better than the feeling of doing something for one reason: your own pleasure. For those feeling really burnt out, treat yourself to a spa day at the Fairmont Hotel and Resort. A day pass costs £30, and there is a little known promotion called “Terrific Tuesday”, offering up a 50% discount on selected Spa Treatments to students. If you’re looking for something closer to town, salons such as Simply Beautiful (136 South Street) and Fresh Looks (9 Bell Street) offer manicures, pedicures and massages at competitive prices.
 

Music

 
It has been proven time and again that music is both a stress-buster and a mood- booster. This is perhaps the easiest tip…it requires pushing 2-4 buttons, and yet it can make such a difference. A walk home in the freezing rain, an intense workout or a daily chore can all be made exponentially more bearable with headphones in your ears. Make some new playlists, organize your Itunes and scour the music blogs for new songs you love. Plus, it is a lot harder to say no to a night out and blame it on the cold when you’re blasting dance music in your room alone.

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