Wellbeing in Winter

Jun 8, 2022

Kia ora Garin whānau,

It definitely seems like winter is on the way doesn’t it? With all this rain, and the cold temperatures, some of us might be feeling a bit down. This is totally normal and is often described as being the “winter blues”. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), describes the winter blues as feeling sad and generally more down in the dumps. Winter blues isn’t something that is medically diagnosed, but more of an understood feeling we can sometimes have during winter months that is usually short-lived. What causes the winter blues?

Reduced level of sunlight. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of sadness. 

Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in that blue feeling. 

Drop in social gatherings. Having less time to connect with others can contribute to having the winter blues.

How do you treat winter blues?

  1. Keep active. Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. 
  2. Get outside, but make sure you stay warm.
  3. Eat healthy and hearty, regular meals.
  4. Get into the sun when possible.
  5. Take up a new hobby. 
  6. See your friends and family. 
  7. Talk it through.

Of course, sometimes the winter blues can develop into something more overwhelming. If you, or someone you know is experiencing the winter blues, with worsening symptoms, please seek professional help. This could be from one of the Te Wahi Hauora counsellors here at Garin, or from a medical professional outside of school (such as your GP, or a counsellor). You can also call or text 1737 anytime to talk to a trained professional. .

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