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This is how you can tackle the winter blues as a Nottingham student

Sometimes winter can make us sad and that’s okay


Like it or not, winter is here. It’s officially the season of fluffy socks and arguments about turning the heating on. It feels like just yesterday that we were all melting in the 40 degree heatwave and now I would pay good money for it to be 14 degrees let alone 40.

If you’re anything like me, the dark nights and cold weather can mean only one thing – you’ll be crying 10 times more than normal. The winter blues are something that a lot of people face each year, including myself, and there is often no way to avoid them but we can try and ease them at least a little.

So without further ado, here are my tips to tackle the dreaded winter blues. That being said, I am not a doctor. If you are really struggling with your mental health then please do reach out a medical professional who knows a lot more than I do.

Crying can be good

Now this is not me encouraging you to be sad but sometimes having a good cry can make you feel so much better. A lot of the times I’m hit with a wave of emotion, there is no rational reason for it and sometimes no reason at all, so when people ask me what’s wrong, I can’t tell them, or don’t want to. My solution is to lock myself in my room and cry.

Now I have many methods for this ranging from sad music to emotional Christmas adverts but I normally feel way better afterwards. Sometimes it’s all about just letting out your emotions and crying can be a healthy way to do that. Plus you get the after crying glow and a fantastic nights sleep.

Go outside

This is one of those things that is so hard to do when you’re feeling down but it honestly helps so much. Although it can often feel impossible to get out of your nice warm bed, getting dressed and ready for the day automatically puts you in a more productive mindset.

Fresh air is known to be beneficial for your mental health and there are so many ways you can get this. A nice walk around a park is always lovely, especially with Christmas decorations up over the festive period. Pending deadlines and in person exams don’t help with the winter blues so a break is also always appreciated. That being said, simply walking to your lectures will do you good.

Fresh air is known to be beneficial for your mental health and there are so many ways you can get this. A nice walk around a park is always lovely, especially with Christmas decorations up over the festive period. Pending deadlines and in person exams don’t help with the winter blues so a break is also always appreciated. That being said, simply walking to your lectures will do you good.

If there is one thing we can all agree about uni, it’s that it’s stressful. As soon as you’re deep in deadline season and the return of in person exams are enough to terrify even the most diligent students. However, working flat out is not good for you. I know how tempting it is to pull an all nighter to study for that exam tomorrow or reread your essay for the 20th time but let’s be honest – nothing you change at 3am is going to improve your grade not to mention the strain on your eyes from staring at a laptop all day.

We don’t know much about the science of sleeping but what we do know is that we need it. It is almost shocking how much better you feel after a full eight hours. The same goes for nights out particularly as alcohol is a natural depressant if you’re choosing to drink. Be well rested and then you can be more productive the next day or, at the very least, you’ll feel refreshed.

Talk to someone

While I know sometimes it’s hard to let someone know how you’re feeling, it can help to get it all off your chest and know you’re not alone. I’m guilty of not doing this (see crying alone in my room) but I have never had a negative experience when I’ve shared how I feel with a friend or family member. Everyone wants to help because they love and care about you.

If you don’t want to talk to family and friends, UoN and NTU both have support in place for students that are struggling. There are also some fantastic charities that can help you such as the Samaritans and Student Minds who are available 24/7 if you ever feel you need to speak to someone. There is no shame in admitting you are struggling – sometimes you just have to take that first step.

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