So, it’s officially wintertime in the UK after the clocks went back, meaning dark nights at 4:30pm, even darker mornings, and let’s be honest, the weather’s not great either which studies have found can impact people’s mental health immensely. Whether it’s the upcoming financial stress of Christmas or essays due before the holidays, us students might feel this mood change a bit more than some. Now I don’t claim to be an expert in mental health by any means, but as a final year student, I’ve picked up some tips along the way for beating the “winter blues”. So here are my top 3 tips for boosting your mood and your productivity this winter…
This tip might seem like a bit of a cliché, but most students forget to get fresh air regularly in winter & while it’s tempting to stay inside and hibernate, we need to make the most of the few sunny winter days we get & the benefits of the outdoors on our mental health in return are endless! So, put your trainers on, wrap up warm & take just 10 minutes out of your day to get some fresh air. There are plenty of parks in Liverpool you could visit, for example, if you’re in Hope Park halls, Calderstones park is right down the road and is host to a botanical garden and café. Sefton Park is also a great option with its famous glass Palm House and 200 acres to explore.
Declutter your space
Having a clear space to work in can help us to feel more organised and relaxed which, in turn, can make us more productive – a clear space equals a clear mind. The lead up to the Christmas holidays can be an especially busy time for uni work. Productivity and organisation are important, however, it’s equally important to learn to relax and take some time for yourself without feeling guilty. It can be more difficult than it sounds, but time for self-care is essential for our mental health and benefits how we work. So take a nap, maybe watch some Netflix, whatever works best for you
This time of year can be difficult so don’t be afraid to tell someone how you’re feeling, talk to a friend or flatmate or call a parent/relative. If you don’t feel like you can talk to the people around you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Student Support & Wellbeing, which offers regular drop-in sessions, Monday – Friday, 12-2pm during term time, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also message the university’s free Nightline service at: https://liverpoolhopenightline.carrd.co/, which provides a confidential listening service run by student volunteers, available Friday-Sunday, 10pm – 2am during term time. I cannot stress enough the benefits just talking can have on our mental health so be sure to check out the university’s website for more information on these services.
By Natalie Pover.