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

It’s that time of year when all the best holidays have passed, the sun is still setting at 5 PM, and all of a sudden, it’s the midterm season again. For most of us, it feels like the holidays were way too short and the end of winter will never come. I’ve compiled a list of strategies that I like to use to help prevent burnout during the winter semester.

Eat and Sleep (no exceptions)

Some things don’t change: eating and sleeping consistently is a great way for me to manage my mental and physical health. Sometimes one or both of these necessities get pushed to the side when times get stressful, so it always helps me to make a concerted effort to prioritize them before things get too hectic. 

Take vitamins

One of my least favourite things that can happen during stressful times is catching a cold that feels impossible to get rid of. I feel that taking plenty of vitamin C and vitamin D and drinking plenty of water keeps me healthy during the last few months of winter. 

Take time for myself and Unplug

Around this time it can feel as though I’m juggling a million different things (especially since I wrote a million New Year’s resolutions that I want to stick to). Taking time to relax and unplug during the week, even if it’s for just 30 minutes between classes, has been beneficial to me. I like to use this time to quiet and reset my mind. I’ve found that journalling, reading, or sleeping works for me. These activities help me minimize my stress and any overwhelming feelings.

Treat myself

It’s very easy to let the cold and slush make me feel miserable. One way I make myself feel better and motivate myself is by treating myself every day. For me, that looks like letting myself sleep in a little later than usual or sizing up my Starbucks order. It doesn’t need to require spending money, but I like to allow myself small freedoms without guilt this winter.

Reach out!

It’s easy to isolate ourselves this time of year, so I try to keep in contact with my friends and family regularly. Keeping contact with people who I can decompress with tends to help me avoid feeling isolated or like I’m the only one struggling.

Winter can really elevate the pressures of university, but I’m grateful for these tips which have helped me be able to prevent those feelings of burnout this season.

I'm a 2nd year student studying Political Science at the University of Ottawa and a new Writer for Her Campus UOttawa!