Beating the Winter Blues

Well, ladies, it’s here, and it’s terrible. The ground is covered in slush, we’re neck-deep in assignments with no end in sight, and we’ve officially exhausted our supply of cute winter outfits. I’m speaking, of course, of the months in between New Years and Spring Break- more commonly known as The Most Dreadful Time of the Year. It’s common to feel down for periods within these months. This can be brought on by the weather, increase in workload, or just the somewhat unexplainable air of dreariness that tends to surround many of us following the holidays. When you feel yourself heading towards a slump, there are various actions you can (and should!) take to remain the most efficient, happiest version of yourself.

The most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Sometimes, sitting in your room trying to write a paper at 7 pm, long after the sun has gone down (what’s up with that?), you may start to feel dejected and uninspired. While it’s important to push yourself and get your work done when you can, sometimes you need a break and a change of perspective. Put aside your textbooks and give yourself a breather to rejuvenate your mind and soul. Stop by a friend’s room, take a long shower, and get to bed hours before your regular bedtime. Wake up early the next morning, walk to Starbucks, and resume last night’s work with a fresh mind. Occasionally shifting your routine helps to keep the brain alert and will prevent you from falling into a stagnant state.

Additionally, while many people fall behind on self-care during the winter months, this is when it’s most important. This is probably something you’ve heard numerous times, and it’s far too easy to neglect self-care when things get busy, and you can end up not feeling like yourself. If you start to feel the winter blues creeping up behind you, watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix or do some yoga. You can even practice some quick, less conventional forms of self-care such as calling your mom or taking five minutes to respond to texts from your friends. Performing little actions like this help you to feel more put-together and remind you that you are loved.

Lastly, if you’re experiencing excessive fatigue, feelings of hopelessness or guilt, or loss of interest in your favorite activities, you should contact your doctor or student health services. It’s possible that you’re exhibiting signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD or seasonal depression), which is a real mental health issue and is common during the colder months. It’s important to address these emotions by receiving help from a professional. Remember that your experiences and feelings are valid and that you are not alone.