Ways to battle the winter blues

Try these tips to help you survive until spring takes hold

Ways to battle the winter blues

Danielle Shumar, staff writer

January to March are always a few of the roughest months of the year, as winter break and favorable holidays come to an end.

As winter stretches on and the cold weather continues, mental health can be affected. Lots of people, particularly students, are negatively affected by the seemingly never-ending dreary winter, causing motivation and spirits to be at an all-time low.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your motivation up as we battle the cold, wearisome weather.

  1. Get outside whenever possible.  As high school students sitting in school all day, it’s difficult for us to see the sun. Because the sun sets so early during the winter months, it feels as though it gets dark as soon as school is out for the day. This causes us to feel more tired, less productive, and overall moodier. Prioritizing sunlight can help students feel more motivated to continue working hard. Getting outside in the sun for even a short amount of time can be very beneficial for our mental state.
  2. Prioritize social interaction. Winter can lead to us feeling like we need to “hibernate” until it gets warmer. This causes students to feel isolated, whether intentionally or not. Actively making plans with friends and prioritizing social interactions can help avoid this. 
  3. Try something new. Starting a new hobby can help students keep their motivation up. Something simple such as reading, baking, or journaling makes a huge difference in mood. Keeping up with a hobby allows students to focus on a certain activity and keep the brain active when not at school.
  4. Incorporate movement in a way that you enjoy. Since it’s colder outside, some people might find it harder to keep up with movement. It’s more difficult to do something simple such as go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Because of this, finding a new way to keep your body active is extra important. Making exercise at home or going to the gym a priority will help keep your spirits up. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, causing us to feel happier and more motivated.
  5. Make time for yourself. During these few months, it’s easy to feel burnt out and overworked. Finding time to do the things you want to do will help you feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed. Although schedules can get crazy for students with homework, sports, jobs, friends, etc., it’s still extremely important to make time for yourself. Find a balance between social life and alone time, and see what you can do to give yourself much-needed time to relax during the week.
  6. Find joy in winter activities. Embracing the cold weather and participating in winter activities can help make this time a little less unbearable. Making hot chocolate, going ice skating, having movie nights, etc. are all simple ways to relieve yourself of the bleak winter weather.
  7. Get proper sleep. Although this is something that students can get tired of hearing, it makes such a huge difference. Getting a full night of sleep helps us feel fully energized and recharged for the next day. This is especially important when we feel extra tired during cold winter days.
  8. Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Remind yourself that there are only a few more months until school is out for the year! Creating a summer bucket list or summer goals helps to make it seem like the warm days are less far away. In addition, there is always spring break to look forward to in just a few weeks. Remember that if it seems hard now, it can only go up!