As the weather turns colder and colder, and you find yourself spending less time outside in the fresh air and more time in your dorm room, it’s very easy to fall into a hole of seasonal depression. Dorm rooms are known for having less natural light and more fluorescent lighting making it difficult to get your daily dose of vitamin D. So, here are some easy fixes to make sure you’re not being shut inside for half the year in your room and bringing more life to, well… your life. (P.S. I’m no doctor or anything even close, these are things that I find work for me and hopefully they’ll work for you).
Tip #1: Find yourself a little plant to keep in your room.
This is super easy and really helpful. By having a plant in your room your mood can automatically be lifted. It will give your room more life and freshness and something pretty to look at. Additionally, you will have something to look after. If you’re just looking after yourself, let’s be honest, we all get kind of lazy. Given the responsibility of taking care of a plant will help you stay on top of daily tasks. If you are prone to killing every living thing, like me, start out with a small succulent that you only have to water once a week. Name it, befriend it, worship it… Literally anything. I got my aloe plant, Chester, at Home Depot. They have so so many indoor house plants that range from needing a lot of sunlight, to almost no sunlight at all. There’s a plant out there for everyone.
Tip #2: Find a way to get sunlight.
Granted, as the days get colder, this will get harder. But this can honestly be as simple as opening the blinds when you get up in the morning. I know how difficult it is to actually bring yourself to let light in your room when all you want to do is sleep, but do it! If your room gets no natural light (I’m very sorry) but go outside at least once a day just to get that fresh air. Walk around the block, walk to your cafeteria to get food, simply walk just because you can. Do anything to get yourself outside. I am the first person who will make excuses to stay indoors, but don’t! Now, I know when we do get in the cold cold days of winter and there’s no way in hell that I’ll go outside, there are artificial ways to get sunlight. There are multiple natural sunlight lamps out on the market that are not too expensive. They will give the illusion of sunlight that will make sure you don’t fall down that hole of seasonal depression.
Tip #3: Join some clubs.
This is actually harder than some might think. If you’re introverted, like me, then putting yourself out there and actually leaving your room for something other than class can be really daunting. What I found to be easier is to join a club with someone you know. You’ll be pushed (positively) to going to the meetings and joining in on activities. This year I’ve decided to join the Culinary Club and possibly one other club and it’s already improved my mood significantly since last year.
Tip #4: Hang out with friends.
I know this is kind of a given, but don’t underestimate the effect that your friends have on you. Individually each person might be feeling the effects of seasonal depression, but together, you’re unstoppable (I know, very cliche). Do something with your roommates besides lying around, hang out with that person who lives in the building across campus, go on adventures with the people who don’t go to your school and you only see sometimes. Just make plans! Have something to look forward to so you’re not just lying there waiting for something to happen to you.
Tip #5: Keep your room clean.
This is super easy to do and you will feel great when it’s done. Throughout the week, objects and trash just pile up in my room. Dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and lost pairs of shoes will litter the floor and by the time next Monday comes around, I’m so unproductive and don’t want to do anything. Each weekend, take the short time to simply pick up around your room. Turn on some music, do your laundry, put it away, clean up, and you will feel so much better I can guarantee it.
Here’s the playlist I’ve been using when picking up my room or just laying on my bed. It’s so calming and nice and makes you want to brew some tea.
I hope these tips help. I know a lot of them are self explanatory but I find myself constantly forgetting that doing simple things will make me feel better. Having them written out just helps me remember what I can do to help myself.