Beat the winter blues

Did you ever notice how everyone is always happy and smiling in the summer?  And in the Winter people seem a little grumpier than normal?

With the days getting shorter, and nights getting longer, you may well notice some behavioural or emotional changes in your student.   It’s possible that they may be experiencing the “Winter blues” or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).    According to the Canadian Mental Health Association,  research suggests that between 2 and 3 per cent of the general population may have SAD, while another 15 per cent  experience  the “winter blues” – so this doesn’t affect only those new to Canada.

Because of the cold weather, we feel like spending more time indoors and the general lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed and grumpy, without realizing why. Sadness, fatigue, apathy, lack of energy, cravings for sweets are all symptoms of this type of depression.   It is harder for students to get out of bed, they want to spend more time alone on their room, shun their friends and start to complain more about things that never bothered them before.   Talk to your student about the winter blues so they understand what they might be going through.  They will need some guidance on how to prepare themselves for our Canadian winters, and knowing what to do will help them adjust to it more easily.

Here are a few pointers to help you tackle the Winter Blues:

1. Keep active – join the gym, take up a sport with your student.  Do a home workout together.

2. Get outside – take a walk, keep your shades up during the day to let more light into your room, sit near windows in restaurants.

3. Eat healthy – lots of fruit and vegetables, fish, less sugar

4. Start a new project – this can keep you busy and motivated, and keeps your mind off the winter weather.

5. Plan activities with friends – encourage your student to go out with friends, sit in a café, go to the movies, etc

6. Take up a winter sport – Introduce your student to a Winter sport. Try snow tubing, skiing, toboganning, ice skating.

Kindness and patience can go a long way to making the winters a little warmer for our students!  If you feel your student needs more help, please let your relationship manager know so we can help get them the support they need.