Winter self-care tidbits to combat SAD during finals

Madhu Kandasamy | Contributing Writer

For all of the Bears out there who feel like doing nothing but hibernating this finals season, there are many ways to combat winter blues. Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or you’ve just been feeling down lately, here are some tips to help you snap back and finish the semester strong:

If you’re feeling unmotivated and lethargic when it comes to studying (or anything really)

Go exercise!
It’s proven that exercising can increase serotonin and endorphins. While you may scoff at the thought of willingly putting yourself through the ordeal of improving your health when you could be procrastinating your homework instead, it’s undeniably important to take care of your body and keep yourself from completely shutting down. Hey, at the very least, it’ll help you warm up!

Take a break
Give into that random impulse to glamorize the inside of your room and rise to the Instagram ranks of festivity. It’s okay to be corny—cut out paper snowflakes, hang those lights and welcome in the holiday cheer, dammit! Just be sure to ask your roommate before you completely transform your room into a miniature holiday display worthy of a Mariah Carey music video.

If your sleep schedule is more jumbled than usual

Happy light
Consider using a natural-light lamp to help regulate your circadian rhythms when there’s less sunlight to take in for the next few months. Producing light that closely mimics sunlight, these lamps, when used properly, can increase your energy and mood while also improving your sleep cycle.

If you rarely leave your room (and even then, only very reluctantly)

Get excited about the season!
Take in the changing leaves and really enjoy the weather for what it is, especially if you’ve never experienced Midwestern winters. If breathing in the crisp, winter air doesn’t just completely rejuvenate you, I don’t know what will.

Hot cocoa
If you detest the cold and grimace at the sight of snow, then you can motivate yourself with the promise of a steaming mug of hot chocolate at wherever your destination is. It doesn’t matter if you have those instant hot chocolate powder packets stockpiled in your room—they just taste better when you’re also taking in the colorful leaves and bright sky.

If you can’t bring yourself to do any of the things mentioned above because you’re too blue to care

Friends
Make plans with your friends and motivate each other. If you can’t stick to goals and new routines on your own, having a group of friends to encourage and support each other in new ventures can be reassuring and beneficial for all of you. You can make it a whole cozy celebration of the end of the semester—a reward for all of your hard work so far.