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Thursday, July 30, 2015

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Opinion Blog

Fighting the winter blues

By Holly Baranowski          Posted: 01/15/13 6:44pm         

The crisp fall air has left us and has been replaced by the dreary and cold winter. To some, this bitter weather brings with it a loss of spirits. The winter marks a time when many feel sad or depressed. Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder or you just experience winter blues, there are a few ways to combat the funk that seems to accompany the first snowfall.

I, like many Michiganders, find myself being more lethargic during the winter months. I generally like to think of myself as a happy and optimistic person, but sometimes it becomes a little harder for me in the gloomy weather.

I have found exercise is one easy way to bring up my mood. I’m not much of a runner, but I really do enjoy yoga. It relaxes me and makes me feel refreshed. I also recently went to a Zumba class, which I found really enjoyable. I always feel much happier after I exercise, and it can be especially helpful in the winter.

Another easy thing I do to get escape the winter blues is to avoid depressing music. This may seem obvious, but sometimes people forget how much an upbeat song can change your mood. Making a winter playlist always puts me in a better mood. Just listen to the playlist while you are studying or walking to class.

Make sure to get enough sleep. This can be especially hard for college students, but it really is necessary to avoid depression. When your schedule seems too hectic to get a good amount of sleep at night, start planning ahead. By planning when you can do homework ahead of time and not procrastinating, finding time for sleep becomes much easier.

Take advantage of the days when the sun is out. It doesn’t happen often in the winter, but when it does, make sure to open the blinds, take a walk and enjoy it. A little vitamin D will go a long way when it comes to staying happy during the winter months. When it’s nice out, I always make sure to do my homework by the window.

These solutions, when incorporated often, are easy ways to avoid feeling down in the winter. People living in Michigan are likely to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder or some kind of light depression during the winter months. Most winters, I find myself feeling down and have found by exercising, taking advantage of the sunshine, listening to upbeat music and getting enough sleep I feel much better.

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