Dance away the winter blues – how to chase away gloomy mood
Luckily, the shortest day of the winter is over. But we still have a few weeks left until the days get brighter. And warmer. It feels like right now would be a good time to hibernate. But since we’re no groundhogs, we have to stay awake through the dark season, which makes many people feel gloomy. But with a few strategies at hand, you can easily weather winter.
Powerless, constantly tired, gloomy mood: The short and grey autumn and winter days can give us a winter blues. Because of the lack of day- and sunlight, there is a lack of vitamin D and less serotonin, our "happiness hormone", in our brains. The sleep hormone melatonin, on the other hand, is produced in larger quantities when the weather is dull, so that we feel like we could sleep all the time. Nevertheless, everyday life goes on – that’s why it’s so important that you take care of your mental health and fight the winter blues.
To support you, we have compiled a few useful tips.
Due to the shorter days, there is less natural light during winter. That’s why it’s all the more important that you go outside during the day. Day- and sunlight stimulate the production of vitamin D and prevent excessive melatonin formation – this helps against winter lows. So, get up and venture into the cold – don't forget your winter coat, though. If you can't make it through the door during daylight or only for a short time, a daylight lamp can have a mood-enhancing effect.
Even though couch potatoes don't like to hear it, exercise strengthens the immune system, improves your mood and is one of the most effective remedies for a gloomy mood. Afterwards you can treat yourself to some chocolate as an additional serotonin boost!
It is not without reason that it is said "You are what you eat": It is important, especially during winter, to pay special attention to your diet. For example, your body can convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in various types of cheese, cashew nuts, meat and fish. Fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon also contain vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which can also have a positive effect on your mood. You can also find vitamin D in large quantities in butter, milk, eggs and sprouts. To additionally protect your immune system during winter, you should also eat lots of foods with antioxidants. You can find these in blueberries, tomatoes, citrus fruits or field salad. In addition to the right food, you can also drink teas with St. John's wort to alleviate depressive moods. If you find it difficult to cook well balanced for yourself, why not organize a cooking party with friends or other students in the residence.
Meet up with friends
When it comes to winter blues, the most important thing is to be able to talk about your problems. If you are not feeling well, you should contact family or friends. If you have not yet found the right people to talk to in your new home, please contact your Residence Team, we are always happy to listen. Take advantage of the activities in the residence and take part in our in-house events, as well as our tours and excursions.
Make it colourful
The psychological effect of colours is undisputed. Each colour has a specific wavelength that affects our body and our psyche. You can easily brighten up your mood with colours. We have listed a few colours that can have a positive effect, whether as a pillow, blanket or lamp:
• Red: fire, love, vitality, energy
• Orange: optimism, joie de vivre, sociability
• Yellow: sunlight, optimism, joy, creativity, concentration
• Green: nature, harmony, calm, security
Surround yourself with positive things. Instead of watching the next Halloween slasher in the cinema or streaming it on Netflix, it is better to resort to light or funny series and films. Happy music can also help you to raise your spirits.
Treat yourself and your body to something beautiful. The scent of essential oils can have a direct impact on your psyche – especially fragrances such as bergamot, lemon, grapefruit or lavender help against a depressed mood.
It is important to look forward to something. Whether it’s planning the next vacation, crafting and preparing gifts or just a nice meal with friends or the new season of a series. Try to integrate something that you can look forward to into every day.
Important: If nothing helps, please don't hesitate to get professional help. If your winter blues last for weeks and affects all areas of life, experts call it a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).