As the winter solstice approaches this week, Student Life recognise that the transition to winter can pose challenges for students’ wellbeing.
There is substantial evidence which indicates that seasonal changes can have a profound effect on mental health. There are many changes that occur with the changing season: the length of daylight, the temperature, the intensity of sunlight, our diet and our daily routine (how and where we spend our time).
The onset of winter, in particular, is a time when many people struggle. Given the shorter days, the reduction in sunlight and the cold weather, it is common for people to feel down, tired, unmotivated and/or depleted. Those with pre-existing mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety) may experience an exacerbation of symptoms at this time. The rising cost of living and higher energy consumption means the financial strain of increased power bills, and many are experiencing heightened levels of stress as we head towards the end of the semester.
The following are some suggestions to help you manage your mental health during the change of season:
- Ensure that you get adequate sleep (aim for 8 hours each night) and maintain a consistent sleep-wake cycle
- Incorporate opportunities for fresh air and daylight into your daily routine. Rug up and go for a walk at lunchtime, sit outside to eat your lunch, spend some time on the weekends outdoors in nature
- Give yourself permission to add to your ‘winter survival kit’. Think of what you might need to make yourself more comfortable this season – perhaps it’s time to invest in good quality, wind-resistant clothing, a durable umbrella, a new heater or an insulated travel mug
- Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, and be mindful of your diet as exercise and nutrition have an impact on mental health
- Identify the things you love about the season, and be intentional about incorporating these things into your life.
Most importantly – if you do find yourself struggling at this time, it is a good idea to talk to someone who can offer appropriate support.
Student Life offer free, confidential support to our students. We are available Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:45pm.
If you would like to talk to someone, please contact us in one of the following ways.
1. Student Life Reception - 9286 9891
If you reach the voice mail, please leave a message
2. Send an email - firstname.lastname@example.org
3. eCounselling - https://ecounselling.boxhill.edu.au/
Log in with your student username and password
4. Send a SMS to 0429 680 448
Text us your name to receive a call from a Student Life team member
5. Book an appointment via our online booking system on Student Web
For after-hours support, please refer to the following services:
Lifeline 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au/
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
Kids helpline (up to 25 years of age) 1300 651 251 https://kidshelpline.com.au/
QLife (support for LGBTIQ+ community) 1800 184 527 https://qlife.org.au/