With the colder months coming, students at the University of Maryland should develop healthier habits and self-care routines to keep up their mental and physical health.
Preventing sickness, finding enjoyable indoor activities, and focusing on self-care routines help many students feel good at college in the fall.
Freshman Emily Shoemaker, focuses on herself more as the colder weather creeps in.
She enjoys taking hot showers and focusing on indoor activities, such as painting and drawing.
“I’ve found that you have to have an actual relationship with yourself to pull yourself out of bad mental states, especially in the colder months,” Shoemaker said. “If you don’t trust or understand yourself, then you won’t be able to ask, what will help me?”
Finals follow with the colder months which often increase stress and workloads. Athena Yang, a sophomore bioengineering major, falls victim to “seasonal depression,” which Johns Hopkins Medicine defines as depression that is induced by shorter days and less daylight.
She focuses on her mental state by incorporating little habits into her free time.
“I like to keep a lot of warm lights in my room, it kind of cancels out the getting dark after 5 p.m. thing. I also like to make sure I see people I like, especially during finals season,” said Yang. “I don’t like to just hide in my room by myself.”
She enjoys cooking warm foods that remind her of home, as well as watching nostalgic movies to keep herself happy.
She recommends students join a club that focuses on physical health, to stay happy and healthy.
The UMD counseling center suggests that students use coping strategies such as journaling, yoga, volunteer work, and getting out of your room to do something fun.
“I’d say everyone should have three hobbies. One that keeps you active, one that keeps you creative and one that is just your guilty pleasure; like laying in bed all day on a lazy Sunday,” said Yang.
Hannah Li, a sophomore finance major, sees the direct impacts the colder weather has on her mental health.
“I am more unmotivated to get out of bed and go to my classes,” Li said. “I start to fall behind in my classes and, in general, fall away from my usual routine.”
In order to combat these feelings, Li takes a lot of time for herself and reminds herself of things she loves — such as watching her favorite shows or listening to good music while journaling.
“Do the things that make you feel better. Whether it’s sleeping in some days, hanging out with friends, self-care nights or journaling,” Li said. “Understand that it is okay to have many days dedicated to your mental health.”
Mental health should always be a top priority, especially during colder months and finals season. Many UMD students use creative hobbies, self-care nights, or exercise to maintain a healthy mental state.