When winter comes around, the evenings are dark, it’s cold and the weather is usually miserable. For a lot of people, this can make them feel low. This is often referred to as ‘The Winter Blues’ or ‘Seasonal Depression’. Of course, for most people, it’s not actually depression but the change in season does seem to have a negative effect on most people’s mood.
I’m definitely someone affected by this. Don’t get me wrong, winter is my favourite season – cosy nights in, hot chocolate and Christmas! But I definitely feel my mood is lower in winter. For me, it’s the lack of daylight, when uni finishes and I’m walking home in the dark and drizzle – not fun. I’m also not good with the cold!
How to avoid the Winter Blues…
- Keep busy. Just because it’s dark in the evenings, doesn’t mean you have to stay inside! Go out for dinner, go to the cinema or visit the German Market. Don’t sit inside every night.
- Get exercise. Losing the motivation to exercise in winter seems to be a common problem, probably due to the weather and darkness. If that’s what puts you off, try to join a gym or workout from home. It’s surprising the benefits that working out has on your mental health.
- Keep warm. Part of the problem with winter is how cold it is! I don’t know about you but being cold makes me miserable. So, wrap up warm and get that heating on, as avoiding being cold will make all the difference.
- Get plenty of sleep. Like the point above, being tired also makes me feel miserable, while it can also make you feel colder too. So, get those eight hours and keep your energy levels high!
- See your friends. In winter, it’s very easy to get home from work or uni, have dinner and spend the rest of the night watching Netflix. It’s important to keep socialising and make the time to see your friends, as they’ll be sure to boost your mood.
If you are struggling with your mental health this season, University College Birmingham have amazing wellbeing services you can use. Alternatively, you can speak to your local GP.