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Don’t let the cold season get you down. Here are some tips for better student mental health in winter!
January can be a hard time for many of us. It’s the coldest month of the year, with the fewest daylight hours. So you can say goodbye to the sunshine vitamin until springtime comes around!
For those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), juggling university work and other responsibilities can be even harder. And if you’re a postgraduate student, there’s increased pressure with your studies.
Follow these tips to maintain a positive state of mind, even when the winter chills come knocking.
It can be tempting to binge on comfort food when the temperature drops, but research shows that there’s a link between healthy eating and productivity levels. So don’t neglect your fruits and vegetables.
We can all feel a little sluggish at this time of year, but certain ‘brain foods’ can give your memory and cognitive function a boost. These are fatty fish and other omega-3 rich foods, blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, oranges, and eggs. Green tea may also improve alertness, performance, memory and focus, and could support student mental health at times of stress.
Don’t spend the winter months curled up on the sofa. Make sure you fit in your daily workouts to increase your brain’s production of endorphins! By staying active, you can keep anxiety and depression at bay, and boost self-esteem and cognitive function.
According to studies, just 15 minutes of exercise a day could bolster life expectancy by three years and cut death risk by 14%! So you don’t have to commit long hours to your workouts either.
Let’s face it, getting out of bed is much harder in the morning when it’s dark outside. But getting up at the same time is important if you want to get the most out of your day. Here are some ways to help you wake up on the right side of bed:
· Drink water straight away to kick start your body into action
· Have a cold shower to improve your circulation as well as your alertness
· Book in a morning exercise class (no excuses)
· Write a morning ‘to-do’ list as soon as you wake up
By attacking the day, you can be more productive and more effective with time management, which can do wonders for student mental health during this cold, dark time of year.
Getting the right nutrients is vital for maintaining student mental health in winter, and one of the most important is vitamin D. There’s not much to go around in winter, so make sure you soak up as much as you can.
Walk or cycle to classes instead of driving. When you take a break from your work, don’t just watch TV, but go for a short stroll instead. Or split your gym time with some outdoor workouts. You can also meet your friends for outdoor activities (just be sure to wrap up warm).
If you are struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to get help. Just having someone impartial to talk to can help tremendously.
We care about student mental health at the University of Bolton, and we have a dedicated Mental Health Advisor Service in our Life Lounge. To find out more, call +44 (0)1204 903 067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to find out more for applying for a course in 2022, see our available degrees.