KateBy Kate Virden

Welcome to 2014!  You’ve survived fall term, had a relaxing winter break, and are now working the daily grind.  Winter term is unlike any other at OSU.  It’s not as exciting as fall when everyone is back to school and football season is in full swing with school spirit events happening every week.  Spring term is when the sun finally pokes its head out from the clouds and students can be found lying on the grass in the MU and library quads.   Now we’re left with winter term.  It’s usually a bit of a shock to come back from break and immediately be swamped with homework, so realistically, it can get pretty depressing since the sun is never seen; it’s bone chillingly cold, and often very, very rainy.  The best ways to avoid feelings of seasonal depression that are very common throughout Oregon is to do the things you love!

Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and also release endorphins or feelings of happiness.  I’ve found running for even 30 minutes every day forces me to set aside time for myself and be active.  Even walking a little bit slower to your next class and taking time to breathe in the fresh Oregon air can make your step lighter.  Luckily for us, one of our school colors is bright orange so represent Beaver Pride and wear an orange hoodie one day to spruce up the neutrals that dominate wintertime wardrobes.   Socializing with friends at one of the coffee shops on campus or in the MU Lounge is a great way to take your mind off of never ending to-do lists and laughter really is the best medicine.  Drink non-caffeinated tea before bed to relax or buy some vitamin D supplements if you aren’t getting enough fish, eggs or dairy in your diet.  If seasonal depression really affects you, a Sun Box Light from Amazon.com might be something to interest you.  These boxes use light therapy to filter UV rays and fit on a desktop so it’s like having the sun right on your desk! You can also stop in to the mind spa or the library to use a UV light for free to help boost your vitamin D.

No matter what you choose to do to devote some time to yourself this winter term, it’s important that you set a schedule and stick to it. Good luck and GO BEAVS!

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