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5 Ways To Get Through The College Winter Slump

Test out some of these strategies to push through the gloom…

Sad teen girl looks out the window back to the camera.
Credit: Shutterstock/Mariana Serdynska

As February comes to an end, college students struggle through arguably the most painful part of the academic year and battle a winter slump.

The spring semester recently came to an abrupt start, and somehow, midterm season is already approaching. Seasonal depression is in full swing, and the gloomy weather leaves everyone craving summer.

But how do students manage to get through these annual winter blues? Test out these five strategies to keep pushing through the semester:

1. Take care of yourself

Many books on the bed and a cup of coffee.
Find time to unwind during this draining time of year. Credit: Shutterstock/Alina Machado

During this time of the year, you may find yourself prioritizing aspects of your life other than yourself. Taking care of yourself and your personal space first can help to improve other aspects of your life. By cleaning your space, you can become more organized and efficient, and these changes can reflect in other areas of your life, like your studies and relationships.

Students should also pay attention to what might help them feel better during this slump. Take a morning walk outside or hit the gym after class! Regular exercise is, after all, known to improve mental health. Similarly, establishing healthy eating habits and gaining nutrients helps to boost energy levels and brain health.

2. Find something to look forward to

 Women hand planning daily appointment and write business trip in diary at office desk.
Consider scheduling a new weekly tradition into your calendar. Credit: Shutterstock/Pra Chid

Something to look forward to can be as simple as a call with a friend or as complex as an upcoming tropical vacation. Regardless of how that may look for you, planning something exciting can help you push through the winter blues. 

Consider establishing a weekly tradition, like treating yourself to a coffee every Wednesday or visiting the local farmer’s market each weekend. Having a reward to get excited about can assist in establishing a more positive outlook and improve your day-to-day life.

3. Switch up your routine

woman waking up in the morning, the sun shines on her from the big window.
By waking up earlier, students have more time in their day to switch up their routine. Credit: Shutterstock/Phuangphech

Many students fall victim to the same mundane routine daily: wake up, eat breakfast, go to class, eat lunch, study, eat dinner, do homework, go to bed. A routine of this sort can cause each day to feel the same as the last and contribute to the never-ending cycle of the Spring semester. 

Students can break this cycle by incorporating a fresh routine into their days. They can make time for themselves in the morning through journaling or carve out a portion of their day to get some exercise. Establishing a new routine is a great way to start healthy habits and provide extra excitement in the day.

4. Make time for friends and family

Cropped shot of four handsome friends having dinner in the backyard
Spending time with friends and family can help boost your mood during this slump. Credit: Shutterstock/bbernard

With the school workload weighing over you, catching up with friends and family may slip to the bottom of the priority list. But make sure to remember there’s more to life than cramming for upcoming exams. Spending time with loved ones is important for reducing stress and receiving support during this time. 

Students should step away from their studies every once in a while to visit family. Taking a weekend to get off campus and go home can help to reset and escape from the pressures of school. 

Even if you don’t have the opportunity to see family, spending time with friends can have a similar effect. By inviting friends over to hang out after class or meeting someone for lunch during the school day, you can improve your mood and survive your winter slump.

5. Be mindful

woman practicing yoga lesson, breathing, meditating, doing Ardha Padmasana exercise, Half Lotus pose with mudra gesture, working out, indoor close up.
Practicing meditation can help students recenter their life. Credit: Shutterstock/fizkes

As you continue to trudge through the semester, find ways to be mindful. With gloomy weather and long assignments, it is easy to lose touch with the life you’re living. Students should remember to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. 

Students can do this by dedicating time in their day to meditation. Meditation can help establish a sense of peace and balance that is necessary to get through tough times. Additionally, by practicing gratitude, students can be reminded of all of the good in their lives to give them extra motivation. 

Students need to realize that, even though these times are challenging, they are not alone. As the halfway point of the semester nears, consider implementing one of these strategies into your life to help push through your winter slump.

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Hello! I am a second-year journalism student interested in topics of life, entertainment and culture.

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