Coping Strategies for the Winter Blues

By Saint Mary's University Modified on February 10, 2023
Tags : Health and Wellness

Find out how you can boost your energy this winter with SMU's top tips!

 Coping Strategies for the Winter Blues

When is the last time that you checked in with your mental health? Winter can be hard on many people. With colder, shorter days, some people experience winter blues. Winter blues is a general term to describe symptoms like feeling sluggish, sleepy, craving carbs, and having difficulty concentrating. The winter months can be an especially challenging time for many, as daylight helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and our serotonin levels, which affect mood, appetite, emotions, and digestion.

If you feel like you’ve got the winter blues, here are a few ideas to help you cope:

1. Get outside

With the gloomy weather and cold days, we tend to stay inside, but we need as much sun as we can get! Taking a walk in the sun or simply spending time outside can greatly contribute to better sleep and mood regulation.

2. Light therapy

On those days where there doesn’t seem to be any sun in sight, you could use light therapy. Light therapy uses a special box that mimics natural outdoor light which can lift your mood and ease other winter blues symptoms. You can buy your own or borrow one at a public library.

3. Spend time with people

Isolation can make the effects of winter blues worse. Say hi to your classmates, hangout in a common area, video chat with an old friend, or join in one of the many Student Affairs and Services events to meet new people.

So, if you’ve got a case of the winter blues, try these tips to help brighten your day. Do you want to talk about it? Make an appointment at The Counselling Centre or drop by Peer Support!

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