How to improve your Mood this Winter
Hi, I'm Becky and I want to give you some ideas for improving your mood this winter!
Let’s face it, January can be a bit of a struggle. For students, the combination of exam revision, a depleted bank account post-Christmas and dreary weather don’t always make the best combination.
We thought we’d stop by to give you some tips to boost your mood this month and make sure that winter blues are a thing of the past.
Many students have exams in January, which means that revision may take priority over relaxing on your agenda.
However, it is still really important that you take the time to de-stress. You’ll find that the quality of your work / studying improves as a result of taking the time to improve your mood.
- Mindfulness is a great way to make yourself feel calmer and improve your wellbeing. You can download plenty of free apps so that you can practice daily, some popular ones include ‘Calm’ and ‘Headspace'
- Yoga is a gentle form of exercise which encourages deep breathing and relaxation. As well as improving your mood, it can get you fitter and provide you with a great socialising opportunity. You can attend classes here at Leeds Beckett, join the Leeds Beckett yoga society, or visit one of the many classes in and around the city. If you don’t fancy heading to a class, why not load a YouTube video and gather some of your housemates for a yoga session at home?
It makes sense that good food can put you in a good mood, so resisting the urge to order a takeaway and instead preparing a healthy, hearty meal can help you to fight off those winter blues. If you can’t face preparing the full meal yourself, why not invite your friends over and all contribute a different element of the meal?
Alternatively, you could eat at one of Leeds’ healthy, student budget friendly restaurants.
Some examples include: Zaap Thai, Bar Burrito, Humpit and Falafel guys.
‘A slow cooker is worth investing in. You can stuﬀ it full with vegetables and meat and leave it cooking all day so that when you get home from university, work, or a day out, your food is ready for you!’ Molly, Journalism
‘Good nutrition is essential for optimal physical and mental health. Depression and anxiety are associated with poor diet, as well as physical health conditions.’ Dr Ursula Philpot, Senior lecturer in Nutrition.
See Dr Philpot’s video on food to improve brain power here.
Exercise produces endorphins, endorphins = happiness. When it’s a bit cold outside it can be tempting to snuggle up and not leave the house, and that’s ok! But if you do fancy getting yourself moving, there’s so many ways to do so in Leeds. Leeds Beckett’s newly refurbished gym has loads of fitness classes you could try, including Les Mills favourites such as Body Pump and Body Combat. You can also join one of the many sports teams, or societies such as dance, kayaking, climbing, Thai boxing, lacrosse and many more
If you want to learn more about how you can enjoy sport in Leeds, take a look here.
‘Personally, the best way for me to reduce stress is doing some physical activities. As a first year at Leeds Beckett you get access to the gym, pool, and classes all for free. In your second and third year, it’s still pretty cheap too. So, my suggestion would be to use this as much as possible.’
Keely, Sports Coaching
‘For me, keeping active helps to take my mind off things, and it also has the added bonus of making me extremely productive afterwards. I liked to do things like indoor bouldering, as it makes you use your brain to crack challenges and also keeps you really fit.’
Ross, Music Production
West Yorkshire is so exciting, with so much for you to do. It’s so exciting in fact that it was recently named one of the world’s must-see destinations in National Geographic’s 2019 cool list alongside places such as Cambodia and Hong Kong! As a student, you can make the most of cheap travel on buses, or you could utilise your 16-25 railcard to get cheap train tickets.
If you’ve not already, why not go explore:
- The Piece Hall in Halifax – this beautiful 18th century cloth hall is a real unexpected gem in Halifax town centre! It hosts a range of quirky shops, cute cafes and it often hosts cool events such as food markets, concerts and craft sessions.
- Science + Media Museum in Bradford – Not just your average museum, the Science + Media Museum is completely free and is such a fun day out! There’s some very cool history of TV, radio and cinema to be discovered, as well as fun interactive things such as a room where you record your own BBC news broadcast!
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Based in Wakefield, this open air gallery is full of wonderful things to be discovered. Make sure you take a camera, because you won’t want to miss these amazing photo opportunities!
‘Keeping busy really helps if something is playing on your mind. Leeds is a huge city with lots of things to do. Utilise your time wisely and make the most of this experience. Ask friends if they are free to socialise, join societies and get stuck in with the activities, or find a part time job. All of these will broaden your friendship group and give you some great opportunities.’
Remember, if you do feel down, there is plenty of support for you here at Leeds Beckett. Get in touch with our Student Wellbeing Team, who are your first point of contact for any support you may need. Find out more here.