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Five Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

By Gabriella Ianiro
Features Editor

There’s no denying it: as much as we may try, winter is in full swing and it’s hitting hard. The days are short and the nights are brutally cold. The “winter blues” are defined by mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy. Luckily for you, here are five things you can do to prevent the blues—or if they’ve already hit, how to bounce back.

A variety of healthy choices of snacks. By Kristiane Aateigen
A variety of healthy choices of snacks. By Kristiane Aateigen

1) Exercise

Many of us look at exercise for only one reason: to get in shape. However, did you know exercising could also relieve stress? When you exercise, you release endorphins that improve your mood. Starting your day off with a light workout will keep your spirits lifted throughout the day. Start slow with an early morning walk—let that evolve into a jog, and eventually you’ll be on a morning run in no time.

2) Eat A Balanced Diet

Have you ever overeaten and felt the detrimental side effects the next day? We have all been there. In the winter, many people overindulge on sweets and treats. It’s not a bad thing to spoil yourself once in a while, but overeating will leave you feeling sluggish. Try eating three balanced meals each day. Do your best to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and allow yourself a few healthy snacks in between.

3) Embrace The Season

You have no other choice, but to accept the fact that winter is here. Enjoy the snow days. Make hot chocolate, eat s’mores (in moderation), and play in the snow (counts as being active). Take up a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding. Believe it or not, New York is home to the most ski areas in the United States.

You can head to: Mount Peter, located at 40 Ski Lane, Warwick, NY. It’ll take about an hour and 30-minutes to get there. Hunter Mountain, located in the Catskills at 64 Klein Avenue, Hunter, NY, is roughly two hours and forty minutes away from campus. Windham Mountain is also located in the Catskills at 33 Clarence D Lane Road, Windham, NY. The drive to Windham will take about two hours and fifty minutes.

You can even head to an ice rink to give ice-skating a try. Students can go to Cantiague Park Ice Arena Ice Skating Rink, located at 480 W. John Street, Hicksville, NY. “I’ve learned to love the winter. I enjoy going snowboarding at local mountains. The whole ski town and environment is a lot of fun,” said Christina Cirami, a junior Business major.

4) Get Some Shut Eye

Naturally people want to sleep a bit more during the winter.

Humans’ sleep and wake cycles are controlled by light. Light subdues the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland. As daylight fades, the pineal gland produces more melatonin, which causes people to feel sleepy. As students, many of us have a lot going on and sleep is often

the first thing we sacrifice. Getting yourself on a good sleep schedule will take some self-discipline, but it will be worth it. You should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalize and you’ll have more energy. Try not to oversleep—those 12- hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you more tired. Don’t forget naps; a short (10-30 minutes) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize midday. “Sleep is important because I can focus more, have more energy and be in a better mood,” said Charlie Moerler, a sophomore Broadcasting student. Moerler said he does his best to go to bed at the same time every night.

5) Act On Your New Years Resolutions

Do something positive! Stick to your New Year’s resolution: doing this will keep you busy and motivated. Plus, it will give you something to look forward to as the spring slowly arrives.

Staying active, eating right, getting enough sleep and having fun are guaranteed ways to survive the winter. We can’t change the season, so we might as well make the best of it.

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