10 Tips For Dealing With Those 'Winter Quarter Blues'

10 Tips For Dealing With Those 'Winter Quarter Blues'

Everyone has to deal with the winter blues this time of year, but when you're in college in the PNW, it can be much harder to deal with, this is a list of tips to help conquer it.

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The Winter Blues. Because of the shorter days, less sunlight, and the end of the holidays, it can be really hard to get yourself out of bed in the morning, let alone go to your classes. Here are some tips for dealing with this blue time of year, to get you through your winter quarter.

Exercise.

I know. I'm tired of hearing it too. But its true. Exercise is good for you and for so much more than losing weight. It can promote better sleep, give you more energy, and just give you a much needed boost of self confidence as well. Even a brisk walk can help you start reaping the benefits.

Consider Investing in a Blue Light.

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While not the cheapest option, investing in one of these Blue Light lamp's can be beneficial. I use one myself during the darker winter months. The blue light mimics UV rays, and can be helpful in fighting off the winter blues and giving your body that extra dose of energy. You can read more about picking one here

Limit Alcohol Consumption.

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This makes me sound like such a buzzkill, I know. But alcohol is a depressant, and the last thing you need during the darker winter months is a hangover and the Booze Blues. I know that its college and its fun to get lit with your friends, but be careful with your drinks and use your best judgment. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink if you can. You'll thank me when you aren't missing class due to a hangover.

Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule.

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Sleep is how your body heals itself and restores function. Denying yourself some good, regular sleep is asking for trouble. The less sleep you have, the more likely you are to be depressed, or exhibit risk-taking behavior. So turn off your phone, curl up, and get some good ZZZs.

Vitamin D.

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Take some supplements. Part of the reason we're tired and sad during Winter Quarter is that the sun is gone and we're not receiving any of the health benefits its radiant rays bring us. Pick some Vitamin D up from your local store and supplement your body until the sun decides to show its face again

Take a Mental Health Day.

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With everything going on, sometimes it can seem impossible to find a moment to rest. Sometimes you just need a day to stay at home and breathe and so you can't deny yourself the occasional mental health day. Everything in moderation. Don't skip all of your classes for a week, it'll make things worse in the long run, but giving yourself a three day weekend once a month can be beneficial.

Fresh air.

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As cold as it is, go outside, take a breath. It'll give you a moment to organize your brain and slow you to get some fresh air instead of continuing to breathe in all the dust you've been breathing in inside. If you go for a short walk, you can hit two birds with one stone!

See your friends!

People Socialize Restaurant Eating Socializing

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It can be easy to isolate when you're dealing with seasonal depression and still trying to pass your classes. Again, all in moderation. See your friends, isolating yourself is just going to make you feel worse in the long run and it won't help you at all.

Take A Moment.

Take a moment for some mindfulness. With classes, homework, friends, relationships, etc swimming around in your brain, it can be hard to keep things straight, so its worthwhile to take a moment and focus on one thing. Your brain will thank you for it.

SAD? See a Doctor.

Do you think you're exhibiting severe signs of seasonal depression? Sadder than just the Winter Quarter Blues? It would be worthwhile to talk to your Doctor about SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD. Sometimes, its a bigger problem than going for a jog or getting some extra time in the sun can fix.

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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The Permanence Of Recovery

Trying to explain what it's like when my brain is louder than my stomach.

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I never had an eating disorder.

I say it like that because I didn't. I was never diagnosed with anorexia, or bulimia, or binge eating disorder, or anything else that constitutes a medical resentment to consumption.

A diagnosis would give the issue a name, it would give it a face, which would make it that much more real.

My relationship with food and exercise--and with my body in general--has always been a very complicated thing. I never had an eating disorder, but I never knew how to eat a normal amount and not feel a sense of lingering guilt.

But most days eating always felt like a tug-of-war. I knew that I needed to eat, you know, to survive. The voice in the back of my head eventually became the voice at center-stage of my head. It added up every calorie I took, subtracted every sit-up, embellished my failure when I slipped up. I could never satisfy this voice.

There was always more water to drink, more distance to run, more meals to be stared at and then pushed aside. Sometimes the tug-of-war was just flat out war.

Growing up as a teenage girl in North America, over-exercising and never eating enough is just a part of life. Looking in the mirror and not seeing the human embodiment of an issue of Vogue was grounds for self-hatred. So I recorded everything I ate, tracked every step I took and grew progressively more proud of myself for looking at a glamour magazine.

But humans are not meant to fit in the shiny pages of lifestyle media. I am still trying to learn that. I am learning what it means to not imagine every calorie sticking to my body as if I were made of honey. I know now that it is not normal to make my nutrient intake at the end of each day add up to zero. I am still learning what balance looks like.

The permanence of recovering from living in a state of deprivation is hardly recovery at all. It is work. It is realizing sickness looks different on every body type. It is pushing away the first wave of shame when anything sweet or carb-heavy makes it past your lips. And the second wave. It is living in a world that told you a substantial body is hardly worthy of tolerance, let alone love.

There are little victories. There is a brunch with family or friends. Being so caught up in conversation and the morning's first cup of coffee, with a little extra sweetener, that eating is a breeze. There is fast food after concerts or a night out. So hungry in the middle of the night that you don't even think about reaching for a second taco from the consistently mediocre Taco Bell.

But there are holidays, and birthday cake, another glass of sweet tea, please. Sometimes it's hard not to return to old habits and fall back into the familiar cycle of restriction and denial.

This year and beyond I vow to seek balance. I vow to treat my body with kindness. I want to eat in a way that promotes healthiness, not sickliness, on either side of the scale. I am exhausted. I am tired of the dining hall being the battleground and I'm the one holding the weapon. I am tired of destruction and resentment. This year, I am embracing every curve, every soft whisper, every sigh of relief that I am composed of.

While I am not where I want to be, I am miles from where I started. And that is something to celebrate.

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