Winter Blues – and how to kick them!

Cue the cold weather, toques and frozen fingers – it’s November. AND, what better way to procrastinate writing my term papers – than to blog of course! As I am sitting in the university library, wool socks and all, I noticed myself having a serious case of the winter blues. I know for a fact that I am not the only one experiencing this – it seems like everywhere you turn, people are craving the sunshine and reminiscing of warmer days. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t help that it gets dark at 5pm – it’s dark when I go to campus and it’s dark when I get home– no thank you!

Over the past week, I have found myself in a bit of a funk. Through my work with first year students, and from my own personal experience, I know that this is the time of year is known as the “November Slump.” A period of stress, final assignments, wavering grades, caffeine addiction and most importantly, longing for a well-deserved Christmas break. If you are anything like me, you can’t wait to be done with exams– hello test anxiety – and be home for the holidays. Although I am sure we can all see that little light at the end of the tunnel, the challenge is making it to the end of the semester in one piece.

Trust me – I have days where Netflix and my bed, are way more tempting than a cold lecture hall, but here are some ways to help kick those winter blues:

Lighten Up – Seriously! It is so easy to get wrapped up in the gloomy mornings and freezing bus rides. Try to get as many hours of sunlight as you can. Even turning on the lights in your study space will help boost your mood. HELLO VITAMIN D!

Keep Active – I am 100% a victim of winter hibernation. This is the first time I have been on campus all week – whoops! I totally get it, on cold, dark days it can be crazy hard to pull yourself out of bed. But it’s so important to keep active. Going to class, the gym or even a social obligation can help refocus your mind. Make yourself at least leave the house – you will thank me later.

Treat Yourself –I am the queen of irrationally rewarding myself for completing mandatory tasks – but I am not sorry about it.  Setting yourself smaller goals, even if it is something you have to get done, can make you feel extremely accomplished.  These little rewards help to keep you going – so indulge in a hobby, start a project, plan an outing with friends or pump up the music – you will feel way better!

TALK ABOUT IT- A lot of students feel this way, especially during this time of year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing that you need a rest day. Luckily, I have some seriously amazing people in my life that I can talk to about it. Surrounding yourself with positive energy, and a strong support network is key! Most importantly, it is vital that you are honest with yourself and how you are feeling. There is serious strength in admitting your weaknesses. Not to mention, there are a lot of resources to help you through this time of year. If you need them, please reach out.

Alright, back to studying! I hope this post serves as a little reminder to take care of your needs during this busy time of year. Remember the countdown to Christmas break is on –you got this!


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