Feeling down during the winter? Read this!

December 4, 2020

By Rebecca Small, NorQuest Wellness Coordinator, Centre for Growth and Harmony

Feeling down during the winter? Read this!

Our winters can be long, cold, and dark. Add to that a pandemic that makes it difficult to meet, travel, and socialize at work or in school, and it can make us feel pretty down. The good news is that taking the right approach to deal with this can make a big difference.

“In classes, when you went in person, you have classmates when you’re doing a group assignment and you can crack jokes… so we miss those laughs and those joys when we’re stuck inside, and I think that’s why people feel more depressed, lonely or anxious,” says Vaishnavi Bhawsar, NorQuest international student in the Business program. “There’s no coffees, there’s no lunch with friends, no laughs, there’s no bus rides together, and I think that’s where we’ve gotten disconnected.”

The good news

The good news is that taking the right approach to deal with this can make a big difference!

Vaishnavi, for example, has been making efforts to focus on things she can control.

“Now I go to my backyard and just get out there, move around a bit, and come back in just so I can feel the fresh air and feel like I went somewhere! When I’m feeling a bit stressed, I love organizing my space where I study. Organizing your home gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes I go for a walk, I think a change of environment can give you positivity when you’re feeling anxiety.”

Vaishnavi also says we can use this time to work on ourselves and do things we’ve wanted to do, like exercise, painting our room, or learning English. “You actually find out how strong you are.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association created a Winter Mental Health guide that features different ways to take care of our health, including:

  • Regular calls/online contact with friends and family
  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Journaling
  • Finding a new hobby
  • Setting goals
  • Allowing yourself to rest

The guide also indicates signs that you might be struggling and how to identify what you need.

For free mental health support and more info, contact the Centre for Growth & Harmony at 780.644.6155