A student recommended I send ideas to the campus about how to deal with the blues and blahs caused by this weather.

  1. Pull that guitar out from under your bed, take your camera outside, or do something “hands-on” that you have enjoyed in the past or always wanted to try.  Do something creative and fun (without judging the results).

  1. Set aside a little time for prayer, meditation or journaling to ground yourself and access a wider lens to cope with frustration and the ongoing rescheduling due to snow days.

  1. Make small, specific goals for the morning, or the afternoon or the evening when you are unexpectedly stuck indoors.  Hours of drifting on the internet or movie marathons probably won’t leave you feeling good.  Make a plan to spend 42 minutes on Greek, 23 minutes answering those 4 emails you have put off, 17 minutes paying bills, 4 minutes looking at the syllabus of a course. Set the timer on your phone—the whimsical time frame and fixed end point will help you start and stay focused on particular tasks.

  1. Make a plan to spend time with a friend even if it is just to have coffee or lunch or go for a walk in the snow.  Connecting is good medicine, and setting it up creates a sense of accomplishment and a marker in a day that may need some structure. Or make phone calls or send emails to people who would be surprised and pleased to hear from you.   

  1. When the sun returns, find a way to be in it either by a window indoors, or even better, outside. “Light therapy” is a powerful antidepressant.  By the way, the Student Counseling Lending Library has a lamp you can borrow for 2 weeks if you would like to try light therapy.

  1. Eat in a healthy way as mood and food are very interconnected.  Drink lots of water to avoid irritability.  You may feel drawn to comfort foods and beverages and think you are doing something nice for yourself by consuming carbs.  Unfortunately, you aren’t.   

  1. Exercise of any kind is brain-food and proven mood medicine.  What about that kickboxing DVD still in its package?

From Nancy Schongalla-Bowman,

Director of Student Counseling