Simple ways anyone can combat the winter blues

 If you’ve lived in Michigan for as long as I have, you know the weather change comes with occasional doom and gloom. As the days grow shorter, it can have more of an effect on you than one can expect. These things are (for the most part) normal in a cold state, but we go through this year in and year out. It’s time we learn to cope with it.

I too struggle with a case of seasonal depression, but I have been trying to find new ways to make it through and make my days a little brighter. Though these things may not work for everyone, these suggestions are meant to be a good place to start for others who have decided enough is enough with the seasonal sadness we all get.

1. Start yourself on a routine

Even though this may seem like something you may already do, consider adding fun things to your daily routine as well whether it be hanging out with friends, a weekly RSO meeting you may be looking forward to or something else.

Anything can be the tipping point to ‘get through the week’ and push to the weekend.

2. Get lots of sleep

With the stress of midterms and deadlines constantly approaching (once again— a routine can help with this; give yourself time to do homework), it’s still crucial to set time to relax and rest. I often try to stay off devices at least an hour before bed, or if I do need to do my late night google searches, I try to wear blue light glasses when using my phone or tablet to minimize the adverse effects from these.

3. Exercise when you can

It might seem counterproductive trudging around in the snow for exercise, but there are great amenities on campus (like the Ryder Center) that students can utilize to get active. Even if it would be a half hour walk on the treadmill or some other variant, cardio exercise is a great mood booster.

It provides time to think (if you’re like me, sometimes I’ll have my notes open to jot down stuff that comes to me while I’m walking) and an opportunity to stay active during the colder months.

4. Try something new

Want to try painting? Photography? Poetry? These are all great things to try when you’re cooped up inside because of the drizzly days or oncoming snow. These opportunities are great to take your mind off certain things or even give you a boost in what you might like to do.

5. Open the window or take vitamin D

Yes, we’ve all heard our mother or some other parental figure yelling at us to ‘open a window, you’ll feel better’— these words actually ring true.

Either by taking Vitamin D supplements or opening the window to let the sunshine in, it can be enough to boost your mood when you’re under the weather or emotionally drained. Maybe mom was right after all.

Again, these are suggestions that should be taken lightly, but could be great options for those wanting to feel better this upcoming winter.

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