How to beat the winter blues

Kristin graduated with a double major in journalism and psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology. She held several internships while in school and worked three jobs while going to school full-time. She loves hockey, popcorn, and exploring new places. She now lives in Philadelphia, PA, despite not being a fan of Philadelphia sports’ teams.

As it gets colder out, it becomes harder to drag yourself out of bed and convince yourself that class is a necessity. The time between breaks seems to drag on, and you start to question if the sun will ever show its face again.

Believe me, I know, I went to school in Rochester, NY, and between the months of October and April the sun decides to take a vacation. As temperatures in the teens become common, it’s pretty easy to fathom that you might be part bear and maybe it’s best for your health and everyone’s if you just stay inside, eating pizza, and sleeping.

But no, it’s not. Winter, lack of sun, and cold are part of life, unless you go to school in Miami, in which case, good for you! But even if you are lucky enough to be in a sunny spot, you may not always be, so you better get used to dealing with the weather now.

Here are 5 tips I found helped me beat the Winter Blues:

1. Know Yourself
Are you not a morning person? Do you need a nap in the middle of the day? If possible to make your own schedule, try having a 10 am class instead of 8 am, or maybe a break in the middle of the day for a nap or gym session.
2. Stay Active
Even if you can only pop into the gym for 30 minutes, it will be worth it. Your mood and energy levels will both see a big increase. Don’t think you can stick to the gym? Sign up for a wellness class at your college with a friend. My friend Amy and I always did turbokick together in the Winter, I knew if I skipped she would turbokick me in the butt- so I always went unless I was deathly ill, and so did she.
3. Plan a mid-week pick me up
My senior year, we would always go to karaoke on Tuesday nights. It was a fun way to get together with friends and it made the week go by so much quicker. Even if it’s just going to the dining hall with friends, make an effort to see the people you care about, rather than hide away napping, you’ll be glad you did.
4. See a therapist
Feeling especially low? Don’t be afraid to see your school’s therapist. Most schools have counseling services right on campus, and they’re little to no cost for students.
5. Wash your hands!
Nothing is more of a downer than being sick, and nothing will make you feel less like doing work. Wash your hands more than you think you should. Use the computer lab? Wash your hands. Had a germy kid in your class? Wash your hands. Many colleges also offer free flu shots to students, and really it can’t hurt to get one.

These tips helped me get through my long Rochester winters, and I’m hoping they will be just as successful for you. As always, bundle up, and throwing a snowball or seven at a friend always makes for a good laugh as well.

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