Written by Josh Lambie – Student Writer
Winter is in full force. Christmas, with its mouth-watering food, family reunions, and festive cheer – and failed New Year’s resolutions has passed. But if the cold weather, return to Uni, and looming workload have you hung-over like a few too many Brandies, fear not, here are some top tips to curb your winter blues.
Walking: Okay, perhaps the cold, harsh British winters don’t lend themselves well to outside activities like walking. But according to research conducted by the Mental Health and Physical Activity journal, walking can be both mentally and physically beneficial, stating that “walking has the advantages of being easily undertaken by most people, incurring little or no financial cost and being relatively easy to incorporate into daily living”. Listening to your favourite music and taking in the beautiful winter wonderland can do wonders for your low spirits. The fresh air and natural sunlight is also great for your physical health. So put down your revision notes for a while and take a walk.
Socialise: It’s easy to isolate yourself from the world and hide away in your bedroom when you are feeling down. But resist this temptation and make an effort to meet up with friends and family. Go grab a coffee together (or a festive hot chocolate). Or watch a film in the cinema. Humans, by nature, are social creatures so it’s not surprising that interacting with others alleviates depression. According to Psychology Today, it might even decrease your chances of dementia.
Stay Healthy: This isn’t just limited to what you eat, although this is important. As well as maintaining a balanced diet (protein, fruit, vegetables – essentially, don’t just eat takeaways) it is important to exercise. If it’s too wet and/or cold to go for a walk, consider joining a gym. Some even have special winter time rates. Remember to stay warm while you exercise, though. The NHS accredits staying warm to “reducing the winter blues by half”.
Talking: The simplest solution might be just talking to someone close to you. Tell them that you are feeling down and see if they can do anything to help. Chances are, just vocalising your emotions will help to assuage them. We spend so much time in our own heads, sometimes all we need is someone else’s opinion. You might want to even consider joining a support group or seeing a counsellor if it’s particularly debilitating and you don’t want to confide in friends and family.
However you deal with the winter blues, we’ve got your back. And it’ll be over soon. You’ll be missing the winter atmosphere before you know it.