The best way to beat the winter blues, says Student Health Center counselor Judy Smith, Ph.D., is to resist the urge to sleep the season away, and instead get up and be active.
This is easier said than done with a foot of snow on the ground and a pile of homework waiting in your dorm.
It’s hard for people to even get out of bed with a situation like that to look forward to.
To fight these blues, Smith urges students to get out of their dorm or apartment with friends.
“Organize a breakfast squad of friends who agree to wake each other up, get to class and grab breakfast,” says Smith.
It’s important to stay social in this weather, because “while electronic communication is great, having people right there with you makes you laugh, move and get energized,” she says.
Another way to stay active during the winter is to get involved in a winter sport. Even sledding in Garvey Park gets students up and out of their dormitories.
Also students can check when the college is hosting an open skating session to get themselves moving.
Even go for a walk on one of the rare sunny days: anything to get blood pumping. “This helps those Vitamin D levels,” Smith said. “A good multivitamin with D can also be a good thing.”
The monochromatic view outside also contributes to making winter a depressing time of the year.
Even if spring won’t come for a while, you can bring a little green indoors with plants and colorful posters of nature scenes or your favorite bands or movies. An extra lamp can also do wonders.
Remember, EMTA offers free rides to Mercyhurst students, and you can use this service to get out and explore the city, hang out with friends at a restaurant or go to a movie.
Smith also suggests volunteering if you find yourself with too much time on your hands.
“Volunteer opportunities abound within an easy bus ride from the campus and would be beneficial,” said Smith.
Being active and social in Erie during the winter is difficult to do, especially for students who aren’t used to so much cold and snow.
But getting out into the community can help students feel healthy and happy, improving grades and spirits.