The Winter Blues: An Overview
As autumn is now here in full force, winter is just around the corner. Campus life can become grim in the winter season, especially during exam time. If you’ve ever heard of the winter blues, it something of a mild depression accompanied by low energy levels and lack of motivation because of the darker days and long, cold nights. Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done as students to prevent the winter blues from occurring:
1. Get enough exercise.
Although it might not be motivating to go for a run in the winter, there are other ways you can exercise to stay healthy during the cold season. It’s also a great way to reduce the stress from studying for exams. Most of all, the effects of exercise works wonders to pick up your energy and leave you feeling good for the rest of the day. It’ll also increase your metabolism for all that feasting you’ll be doing during the holiday season.
2. Complement exercise with a healthy diet.
What you eat and when you eat can really take a toll on your body and mood throughout the winter. Refined and processed foods can often leave us feeling bloated and slow from the lack of nutrients. Instant food and the frozen aisle may sound convenient as a student, but it can lower your energy levels immensely. Try your best to incorporate more complex carbohydrates and nutrients into your diet to stay physically healthy and avoid the winter blues.
3. Soak up the sun when you can!
You might not be getting enough Vitamin D in your diet, but you can sure try to make it up by making the effort to bask in the sun when you can. Although the winter doesn’t often offer up many opportunities to be in the sun, make the effort to leave the indoors to soak up the sun when it’s around. The days becoming shorter are one of the many reasons for winter blues. Similar to the effects of exercise, soaking up the sun can affect your mood greatly. If the sun is not where you are, try changing the light bulbs in your dorm to something that’s warm and cozy to mimic natural light in the winter.
4. Get up and work towards your goals.
Studies have shown that healthy behaviours like goal setting prevent depression in the long run. For example, people that exhibit commitments to exercise and good sleeping habits tend to have less sad or mildly depressed days throughout the year, meaning they are less likely to experience the winter blues. Although these research results are not conclusive to everyone in all regions, the results are likely to be mood boosting wherever you are.
Good luck beating the winter blues!