Getting Through the Winter Blues  

Getting Through the Winter Blues  

Photo Credit: Emily Tung

Sometimes it can be hard to see the bright side of things when it’s always gray outside.

Lauren Wills, Contributor 

If you need help, need someone to talk to, or are feeling sad, don’t hesitate to explore the Mental Health Clinical Services offered here at U of T: , CAMH: or wherever you feel comfortable

During these cold months, seasonal depression and low-energy moods tend to sneak up on us. Whether you have school, a job, or both, on top of the crazy twists and turns of life that you cannot get away from, even if you try your hardest, things can get overwhelming. When working and playing with the cards we’ve been dealt, doing so when it’s cold, gray, and gloomy outside can make it ten times worse. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be. That is why I have come up with five tips that will hopefully help you overcome the cold months and the low mood energy levels that come with it. 

  1. Learn to Accept What You Cannot Control  

Acceptance can be challenging, especially when you’re upset about being dealt a two of hearts instead of an ace of hearts. Despite this, the faster you accept the cards you have been given, the quicker you can adapt to the situation. Remember that everything happens for a reason, and as humans, we are made to adapt to even the most treacherous environments. 

  1. Evaluation  

The next step is to evaluate. We have already established what we can’t control, but now you should begin to ask yourself about what you can control. Once we understand what we can influence, we can strategically plan around that. How can we approach and utilize the things we can control to improve the situation? You cannot control whether you have three assignments due in the same week, but you can control how you approach the problem. Do you wait until the last minute to start? Or do you give yourself a head start? These are things that you can control. 

  1. Invest in Self Care 

It may be controversial for me to encourage you to spend more money but splurging (just a little bit) on your favourite cup of coffee or tea, getting your nails done, going out for dinner with your friends, or freshening yourself up — not for anyone but yourself. I find that feeling good about yourself can boost your motivation and confidence to seize the day and get things done. Invest in that me, myself, and I time. 

  1. Spend Some Time in Nature 

I know what you’re thinking. Why would I spend time outside when it’s cold, slushy, snowy, and slippery? It’s all about changing your perspective. Instead of dreading the cold, go out and enjoy it. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while out for a walk. Try out a new winter activity like skating. Sit outside for some fresh air for a few minutes. Spending time with nature, even for a short period, can clear your mind so that you can work more smoothly. 

  1.  Don’t Forget to Enjoy  

There is beauty in everything – even within these gloomy months. Cherish the time you have by yourself, with your friends, family, and even your pets. You can strive to be productive within your work and school life, but you shouldn’t forget to be productive in youreveryday life, too. Productivity doesn’t revolve around completing your assignments or studying for your next exam. Productivity can also mean cleaning up your room, having fresh bed sheets, finally checking that box off your personal checklist, or even better, completing something off your bucket list after it has been unchecked for months.  

Just a Reminder 

All in all, enjoy the little things of life. Time management is key. Chores don’t always have to feel like chores. Do something that you have always wanted to do. Get some (cold) fresh air. Feel good about yourself. Experience new things. You’ve got this. We’re all in this together!