When the most wonderful time of the year passes and winter break comes to an end, now comes the hard part. In January, the Lent term starts; the daytime is still short; most days are filled with gloomy and grey clouds; Christmas decorations and lighting all over the city are torn down. All the reasons that may cause you to feel depressed. This blog will give you some ideas to elevate your mental health up from the looming post-holiday blues.
1. Working on that ‘New Year Resolution’ list.
The good thing about new year resolutions is that you don’t have to do it all in January. You have the whole year to finish it as the time allows. One way to keep you occupied is to come up with the list (if you haven’t already had one) or refine the list further, e.g., how, where, and when you will accomplish each item in the list. This way, you have something to look for, and every day will be an exciting day for you.
2. Looking for the rare sunny day
Even though most days are gloomy with clouds all over the sky, there are some days in a week or two weeks when the weather is surprisingly good. So look for that day (the weather forecast apps can help you with this). And when it arrives, plan some pleasant outdoor activities as if it’s summer! In my case, I will adjust my plan on the day and go on a park-crawl walk. I visited all of Kensington Park, Hyde Park, and Regent’s Park on the same sunny day.
3. Wake up early
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it sure helps. When the daytime is short, the only way to workaround is to get up early and enjoy most daylight. For example, in January, the sun usually comes up around 8 am, you should wake up at 7 am to have your breakfast and be ready to start your day as soon as the sunrise. And, of course, one of the ways to get up early is to go to bed early. Give it a try!
4. Find some indoor activities to do with your friends on a gloomy day
As I said, most days are not sunny days. If you have a day off and it’s cloudy, find some indoor activities. I would recommend going to the movies or having a board game session. Cooking and enjoying your own delicacy also help you forget that the sun is going down so early…again.
5. Planning your next holiday
That’s right. The Easter break is not that far away. All you have to do is give it your best efforts on the Lent term and deserve your well-earned holiday. Occupy your time planning a study for the Lent term. How and when will you tackle each module’s assessment (the exam or the essay’s due date, for example). After that, it’s time to plan your next trip, whether domestic or abroad; you earned it!
6. Stay healthy and take your dietary supplements, if necessary
This one may not directly help to cheer you up from the post-holiday blues. But it certainly won’t make it any worse. Try to stay strong and healthy by eating and sleeping properly. Also, you may want to consider taking some dietary supplements. For example, I come from a tropical country, and I take Vitamin D tablets to substitute for lack of sunlight.
If you are struggling, hang in there. Reach out to your peers or LSE LIFE for the support you may need.
For further advice on mental health, please visit the LSE Student Wellbeing Service.