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Ten ways to beat the winter blues

Sunday 6 January 2013

Short days and cold weather can be hard to cope with, especially for those from parts of the world with a better climate. Winter in the UK can feel like it goes on forever, but already the days are getting longer and in just a few weeks the Spring flowers will start to cheer up our parks and gardens. In the meantime here are some ideas to help you through:

1. Eat ‘feel-good’ foods – oily fish, nuts, green vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados. Get together with a friend and cook a big hearty curry or stew, or whatever your favourite dish is.
2. Get lots of rest - download a podcast to help improve your wellbeing and sleep – http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/podcasts/
3. Get physical – go dancing, take a walk along the river, go for a swim and sauna, get moving and boost your mood.
4. Feel good by doing good, volunteer and improve your CV as an added bonus - www.providevolunteering.org
5. Do something different, start a new activity or join a society - www.qmsu.org, www.timeout.com
6. Get on top of your studies by booking a one-to-one academic study skills tutorial http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/subject
7. Go to the cinema – you can’t tell it’s dark outside!
8. A box set is a great companion for those endless dark winter nights, stock up on DVDs and give yourself a great excuse to snuggle up and stay in.  
9. Whenever it’s dry, get outside at lunchtime and soak up some Vitamin D from the sun – even if its cloudy.
10. Know when to seek help; winter depression affects many people each year (seasonal affective disorder or SAD www.sada.org.uk). If the blues won’t go away and you’re struggling to cope then see your GP or a QM counsellor – www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk

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