With the holiday season in our wake and little to look forward to, the winter blues may be weighing students down like their book-filled backpacks.
Students are settling back into their academic routines, and the bulky workload can be draining. Back to the grind can mean long days with little daylight.
Students may find themselves feeling down or depressed this time of year with a case of the winter blues. Waking up to darkness, spending most of the day in classrooms, many without windows and returning home late can lead to an unhealthy cycle.
Tim Charters, chair of Langara’s counseling department, said it’s normal to feel down in the winter. “There’s even a diagnosis called seasonal affecting disorder,” he said.
“Certainly, people don’t have to have a diagnosis to feel down in winter,” he said.
Breaking out of a routine
Charters explained the importance of breaking your humdrum routine and said that pushing yourself out of that negative cycle is essential to feel better.
“Try to maintain some kind of physical activity,” Charters said. “Eating healthy will have beneficial effects.”
Mike Climie, business marketing student, said he beats the winter blues by “drinking and jamming with buddies.”
Nursing student Desiree Bigornia said she hits the gym when it’s cold out. “The treadmills face outside, and it beats the winter blues,” she said.
Wyatt Naylor, associated arts student, said he “plays video games, watches movies and reads” to pass the time.
If you’re really missing the sun, Charters said there’s a lamp you can buy that replicates sunlight. “It can be helpful to spend a bit of time literally getting sunlight, and they’re brighter than the normal day light,” he said.
The therapeutic lamps are called Light Boxes and can be bought at Wal-Mart or other drug stores.
If you’re feeling blue and need someone to talk to, the counseling department is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. The department is located in room B111, and there are plenty of skilled counselors available to help.
Reported by Karly Blats