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Getting through the dark days

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No dinners at the restaurants, no movies at the cinema and no visits to your favorite pub during the evenings. At least for the time being. Everything is closed during the times when most students finally get the opportunity to relax due to the current ‘evening lockdown.’ For some of us it can be really hard to stay positive, especially during these dark days. This column has some tips to lift your spirits.

1. Light in the dark

Decorate your house with little Christmas lights as soon as possible. There is nothing more depressing than coming home in the dark after a long day’s work. Light has generally a positive impact on your mood. The body inhibits the production of melatonin because of light. The presence of light in your room makes sure your energy levels do not drop as soon as the sun sets. Moreover, Christmas decorations can increase your inclination to engage in social activities and be more social according to research.

2. Be creative

If you can not go to the cinema, bring the cinema to you! Organize a movie night for you and your roommates or a few friends. Or if you are more culinary: spoil yourself with your favourite meal. Sing in the shower, draw your own comic book or learn a handstand. Focus on what you still can do. And take some time for yourself.

3. Get up a little earlier and move

Even though the gyms are closed after 5 pm, it is still important to keep your body active. Studying is a largely mind engaging activity. Doing sports is a great way to get out of your head. If you are a fanatic: get up a little earlier and do your workout. Sports does not necessarily concern lifting heavy weight or running on the treadmill for hours though. Find what works best for you. Whether that is yoga, running, playing soccer or whatsoever. Try to at least engage in 20 minutes of physical activity. Even if that is a walk around the block.

4. Just talk about it

If you are struggling these days or stressed out, you are probably not the only one! Do not be afraid to talk about how you feel. Most people will recognize those feelings. Whether it are your friends, roommates, studyadvisor, partner or parents: it does not matter who you talk to. Just talking about things can ease certain feelings and experiences a little. There are even anonymous chat boxes with health institutions like JouwGGD chat chat (serviant.nl).

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