How to beat the winter blahs
by Kirsten Falcone, RN
Hilbert College Wellness Center
Winter is officially here with her cold, snow, freezing rain, and short daylight hours. If you are like many, winter weather can make you feel like going into your “cave” and hibernating until spring. But you’re not a bear, and reality continues even in less-than-stellar weather. When the blahs of winter seem to overcome you, here are some ways to beat them:
1. Follow a healthy lifestyle.
There are several factors that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.
Eat a balance of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals, and milk and dairy products; and stay away from junk food and sugary snacks as much as possible. Drinking enough water (64 to 125 ounces per day) is also important for all your bodily systems to function.
Exercise improves health and mood. In the winter, you can get enough exercise by going to the gym, running up and down your residence hall stairs for 20 minutes, or putting on your coat and boots and going outside for a walk.
Get plenty of rest.
The proper amount of sleep varies from individual to individual, but the general recommendation is 7 to 9 hours per night. Be consistent with the number of hours you get, and wind down each night to keep a bedtime around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.
2. Check that your symptoms aren’t something more serious.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) runs rampant this time of year, but there is help. For more information, see the Wellness Center article on SAD here.
3. Switch things up.
Gain new perspectives by getting out and about! Drive to the Botanical Gardens in Lackawanna, study in a different location like a local coffee shop, or visit Chestnut Ridge Park for a hike in the woods.
Pamper yourself, especially if you have achieved a personal goal, such as doing well on a test or resisting the temptation to skip your daily exercise.
Take a break from social media to go for a walk, visit a friend, or read a novel. Finding ways to use your critical thinking skills also helps to beat any winter woes.
4. Think about the future.
While Western New York winters can sometimes feel endless, Spring will be here before you know it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Give yourself positive self-talk, and tell yourself you will make it!
If you read this article to the end, and you would like to enter the Hilbert College Wellness Center monthly drawing, stop by the Wellness Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or send me an email with a brief description of what you learned, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ideas on beating the winter blahs, visit these Web Sites: