How to cope with your 'winter blues'
This first term at Sheffield Hallam might have been amazing for some, and not so great for others...
And that's ok.
If you're thinking that you haven't had a great experience so far or that you're feeling the pressure a bit more recently, try not to worry too much. Yes, uni can be amazing and lots of fun but you might feel down from time to time. If you find this becomes more and more regular, you must seek support at SHU, your GP or friends/family.
It may be that you're suffering with SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which affects your mental health most when the seasons change. It doesn't help that we experience winter quite hard in this country! The most common symptoms of SAD are a decreased mood, having less energy, and spend a lot more time in bed but there are ways to practically improve your mood and wellbeing. This could just be one of the reasons that you're experiencing the 'winter blues'.
Another reason could be having to balance your finances, studies, relationships, lifestyle, health and wellbeing and your social life is a bit much. We get it! This can even lead to students dropping out because they feel overwhelmed. Dropping out doesn't always have to be case though. By speaking to someone about how you're feeling, this could ease your feelings and make you feel more positive. Bring it up to your mates and see if they're feeling the same or share this with your family over the Christmas holidays and see what they advise.
One thing to remember is that thousands of students are affected by mental illness every single day so you definitely aren't alone!
If you're feeling down or notice your friend hasn't been themselves, going for a walk or just having a conversation about it on your usual walk to your 9am lecture may help. Doing some exercise, inviting friends around for a Netflix sesh and sticking to a healthy diet are all ways to positively improve how you're feeling. If this doesn't help, you should speak to someone about your thoughts and feelings.
Who can you talk to?
Like we mentioned, you could use the Christmas break to speak to your family and friends about how you're feeling - and be honest! Mention how you feel your first term has gone or what you have/haven't enjoyed. If you'd prefer to speak to someone at uni, Student Support Services can help as can your accommodation staff. If your worries are study-related, mention it to your tutors before leaving for Christmas.
The important thing is staying as positive as you can and talking about how you're feeling.
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