How to beat the winter blues on campus
We have just passed so called ‘Blue Monday’, which has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year due to various factors such as the weather, post-Christmas blues and the long stretch until payday. January can be a hard time to keep motivated and energised, but there are numerous ways in which you can beat the winter blues and make the most of January in Exeter.
Regular exercise is a fantastic way to beat the winter blues, as it releases feel good endorphins which are often referred to as a runner’s high, giving you a boost of energy and pleasure long after the activity has finished. Exercise can really help to ward off feelings of lethargy in the cold winter months, and even better if you can work out with a friend! Here on campus, you can hire one of the Co Bikes which are situated just outside the Forum, and enjoy a leisurely ride into town, or a more strenuous cycle to Exmouth! Take a look at our blog of more cycle routes and get your legs pumping and feel the wind in your hair and you’ll feel the benefits long after you stop exercising.
Get out into nature
Spending even short amounts of time in nature, whether that be at the coast looking out onto the ocean, or amongst the green fields and forests of Devon, has shown to be a truly effect way to combat the winter blues and have a positive effect on our mental health. From improved cognitive function, reduced levels of stress and a renewed sense of purpose in life, getting out into nature can be beneficial in numerous ways, even if it’s a blustery, grey January day. The University of Exeter is home to over 10,000 trees as well as botanical gardens and meadows and has won the prestigious Green Flag Award 11 times. Wander round the Sculpture Trail or the Jubilee Water Walk and see what wildlife you can spot amongst the greenery, and check out our blog on 5 ways to use the outdoor spaces at the University of Exeter for more inspiration on how to beat the winter blues.
Spend time with friends
It can be very tempting to enter hibernation mode as the days get dark at 4pm, it’s cold and windy outside and socialising becomes more of an effort. However, it has shown that spending time with friends and family can help to beat the winter blues and has a positive effect on your mental health. Plan in some exciting social events as something to look forward to or arrange to meet friends for a cuppa or some lunch. We are lucky to have a wide range of food outlets on campus, such as the new Forum Kitchen, which is the ideal place to have a catch up with some friends in a bright and buzzy environment. Or how about checking out what events are on through Live at Exeter, such as Belinda Carlisle who will be performing at the Great Hall in February.
There are numerous things you can do to beat the winter blues, and most of them can take place on campus! Don’t let January get you down, so plan in some walks, bike rides and coffees with friends, and make the most of what is available in Exeter.