As temperatures drop, sometimes students’ moods do as well. “The winter blues” are a real problem, especially in Syracuse, where students may not be exposed to direct sunlight for days or even weeks. For some, though, “the winter blues” goes a little farther than just feeling down for the blizzard full winter months.
Seasonal Affective Disorder affects six percent of the population, according to National Institute of Health, and an additional fourteen percent suffers from “the winter blues.” This is especially prevalent in northern places – such as good ol’ Syracuse with never-ending grey winters.
We at Jerk aren’t certified therapists, but we do have some ideas on how to make yourself feel a little better during these especially cold times of year.
Some people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder benefit from light therapy, which mimics natural light. Students from warmer climates in southern states may feel more “down” when moving to Syracuse because there is a large lack of light compared to what they’re used to. Because of that, investing in a light therapy lamp or even just keeping the drapes open most of the time when sitting on your bed doing homework can help boost your mood.
This may seem impossible some days because of the extreme climate, but when the weather permits, take a stroll through campus and stretch your legs after being cooped up all day in your room or a dim-lit classroom. If you want an outdoor activity to partake in, Clinton Square has an ice-skating rink and downtown Syracuse has some cute shops and restaurants to visit.
This time of year, it may seem like all your motivation to work out has gone out the window. You probably don’t feel like walking all the way to the gym in the freezing cold, but power through! You’ll thank yourself later. Exercise is proven to release dopamine in the brain, the chemical that makes you happier. So, if you’re looking for a way to cure those winter blues, hop on the treadmill and run your worries away!
Meditation and yoga are great ways to relax and find some inner peace. If the gray clouds have got you down, spending some time relaxing may be just what you need. While binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix may seem like a more convenient way to achieve the same goal, attending yoga sessions clear your mind and help you feel less stressed overall. If the snow if stopping you from making the trek to the Women’s Building or to Hendrick’s Chapel for a meditation session, YouTube has a plethora of beginner’s videos to guide you in your own room.
The winter blues affect college students nationwide. If there are some things you can do to avoid feeling down, why wouldn’t you do them to start feeling better? Of course, speak to a professional if you feel the issue is serious, because we at Jerk are not certified professionals, but maybe our list of ways to boost your mood will help you feel like yourself again this winter.