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Combating the Spring thaw

Posted February 23rd, 2012 by sternerr

As many Oregonians and more specifically west of the Cascade Oregonians know, our Springs tend to last for a long time and have their fare share of rain and cloudy days. While the sun will begin to peek out more frequently and the temperatures will rise, Spring is often a time when students feel the most affected by the lack of sun and cool temperatures. Here are a few tips for surviving the long Spring thaw:

1.) Exercise- whether it’s going to Dixon, taking a PAC class, having a dance party in your room, or going for a walk with a friend or family member, getting your heart rate up, working up a sweat, and moving around is one of the best ways to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and address the winter doldrums.

2.) Light therapy- the days are still not quite as long or as bright as you might be used to and exposing yourself to some extra indoor lighting may be helpful. To learn more visit this link from Counseling and Psychological Services ( You can use a light box in the Mind Spa on the 5th floor of Snell Hall, rent one from Student Health Services, or rent one at Valley Library at the Circulation Desk.

3.) Get outside- the weather may not be the best and you might need to wear a rain jacket, rain pants, and/or rain boots to fully enjoy yourself, but breathing in fresh air can be quite refreshing. Taking a walk, jog or bike ride outside can also help with getting the exercise you need. Maybe you’d be more tempted to get outside if you volunteer with Heartland Humane Society and have a furry friend to take on walks?

4.) Standardized your sleep patterns. Sleeping too much or too little or constantly changing up your sleep schedule can affect your overall mood, especially in the cloudy months. To learn more about healthy sleep tips visit Student Health Services.

Lastly, be sure to find ways to enjoy the sun and warmer temperatures when they do arrive.  Studying near a sunny window, eating lunch outside, taking the long way to classes, can all get you much needed vitamin D and make the cloudy days easier to tolerate.

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