10 Ways College Students Can Beat the Winter Blues

Posted: February 18, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

What are the winter blues?Cedar City has all four seasons which means, it can get cold during the winter. Cold weather usually means you spend more time inside which can result in the winter blues. You might feel unmotivated, lethargic, or less social.

Though the days are slowly getting longer and spring will eventually be here, the cold days of winter can be dark and dreary. If you find yourself feeling down or gloomy, you might be experiencing winter blues or seasonal affective disorder. And you are not alone, one out of every four college students experiences seasonal feelings of sadness or lethargic moods.

Do you have the winter blues?

The key to beating the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder, is understanding why you are feeling down and to take initiative to stay active. The following is a list of common winter blues symptoms that are important to recognize in yourself:

  • General sadness
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling less social than usual
  • Withdrawing and isolating from peers
  • Loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy
Why do we get the winter blues?

The primary culprit for the winter blues is the lower levels of natural sunlight and less time spent outdoors. This results in an imbalance of melatonin and serotonin levels, the hormones that regulate sleep cycles and feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

Luckily, there are ways to improve both your mental health and physical wellbeing during the winter to feel better.

How can I beat the winter blues?

Combating the winter blues can be as easy as finding a window to study by, listening to upbeat music, or planning something fun to look forward to. Here are ten remedies for the winter blues and ways to stay ahead of it:

  1. It is important to get outside on days the sun is out. Take a break from studying and go on a walk, hike, or try an outdoor winter activity like skiing or snowshoeing. There are many walking trails within Cedar City that are paved and perfect for a winter afternoon.
  2. Maintain a regular schedule to keep everything in balance and regulate your mood.
  3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to help normalize your sleep cycle.
  4. Make (and keep) plans with your friends and family to help you stay connected with those who matter most. This can be difficult, especially in the current virtual world, but it’s worth the time and effort to stay connected.
  5. Take time for yourself and engage in activities you enjoy.
  6. Plan something to look forward to, whether it be fun weekend plans with friends, a spring break trip, or a summer job.
  7. Exercise on a regular basis, three to five times per week for 30 minutes.
  8. Stay healthy by embracing a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy foods. Here are some quick and easy lunches for college students to get you started.
  9. Create a support group and find trusted friends who motivate you. Southern Utah University students can also visit The Nest to find support or join one of the CAPS groups or workshops.
  10. For more inspiration, use these ways to get outside or things to do in Cedar City in the winter.
What if it is more than the winter blues?

The winter blues make the winter months difficult for many students, but they don’t pose the same problems that long-term depression does. If you are experiencing the winter blues or feel like they don’t seem to lift when spring comes around, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

CAPS is a full-service counseling center that offers confidential and free services to Southern Utah University students for individual counseling, couples counseling, group counseling, biofeedback, and workshops.

 

Remember, if you are feeling sad or gloomy, you are not alone. Many college students experience the winter blues and there are easy solutions to improve both physical and mental health. Even adding one to your daily routine might help.

Tags: Student Life CAPS

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