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Ten ways to beat the winter blues

Monday 5 January 2015

Short days and cold weather can be hard to cope with, especially for those from parts of the world with a better climate (most of the world…).  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 is your favourite dish! Find out how food effects your mental health here: http://tinyurl.com/myups55
  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! http://tinyurl.com/orx4f95
  4. Feel good by doing good, volunteer and improve your CV as an added bonus - http://www.providevolunteering.org/home.aspx
  5. Do something different, start a new activity or join a society at Queen Mary. You can find out about other activities or things to do in London on these sites - Time Out and Meetup.
  6. Get on top of your studies by booking a one-to-one academic study skills tutorial at Queen Mary's Libraries: http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/subject
  7. Go to the cinema – you can’t tell it’s dark outside! http://www.timeout.com/london/cinema-listings
  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. http://www.walkeast.org/index.html
  10. Know when to seek help, winter depression affects many people each year (seasonal affective disorder or SAD http://www.sada.org.uk/). If the blues won’t go away and you’re struggling to cope then see your GP or visit the Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service – www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk.
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