Hello, hello and happy August, everyone! My name is Amy, and I am a second-year student living at Carlaw Park Student Village.

Winter has never been my favourite season, and I feel that cloudy skies, gloomy weather, cold, cold wind, and neverending rain bring about a wave of low motivation, sombre moods, homesickness and, well, a general funk. 

As I have been living at uni accommodation for the last two years, I understand that it is definitely harder to get out of these funks when living away from home. With no parents telling you to get out of bed on those cold days and so many lectures that can be viewed online, sometimes it is hard not to stay in your room (or even bed) the whole day. 

However, this is not the healthiest for your physical and mental health, so I am here to share the coping methods I have developed to help me get out of that funk!

Number 1 – Get out and move around

When the days are cold and rainy, it may feel like there is nothing better than curling up in your bed and watching Netflix. However, humans were not designed to stay in the same position for hours on end, and your physical (and mental) health will take a huge toll if you do this continuously.

Getting out of the house every day, even if it is to the supermarket or running an errand, gets your brain out of sleep mode and wakes your body up. My favourite thing to get moving is to put on a podcast and walk around the domain when it is not raining. Seeing the different people (and cute dogs) out and about is so interesting, and the greenery gives my eyes a break from staring at a screen all day.

My go-to podcast recently is “Trying Not to Care” by Ashley Corbo. It is a lifestyle podcast about relationships, friendships, growing up, and self-love, and it is both informative and relatable.

However, if it is raining, an alternative is booking fitness classes at the uni rec centre. If you live at any university accommodation, the rec centre is free to use, and all classes apart from the premium ones are free to book. Despite loving the pump and HIIT classes, I find that in the winter, it is harder to wake up early and do a hard cardio session. Therefore, I have been loving the yoga and pilates classes recently. Not only do I feel relaxed afterwards, I feel accomplished that I have gone and moved my body.

Number 2 – Get your butt onto campus

Studying in the same space you live in is hard. It is especially hard when you live in halls and your space is a tiny bedroom. If separating your uni and personal life is something you struggle with, getting onto campus to study is a great way to motivate yourself and stay productive. My favourite spots to study on campus are the Engineering building, floor 2 of the library, and Shadows Bar (which has an added perk of $3 coffees). 

Another benefit of being on campus is being conveniently close to your classes. This means there are fewer excuses not to go, and your future self will thank you. 

Number 3 – Declutter your life

Clear space, clear mind is not only a saying. I find that cleaning my room and decluttering the area around me creates a space where I can think clearly. How are you meant to get your work done on your desk if it is cluttered with food packages, plates, bottles and random pieces of paper?

So do that laundry that’s been sitting there for ages, put your clothes away, make your bed and wipe those surfaces!

Number 4 – Get into a routine

When your life is a scramble, routine may help you organise your brain. Having a night-time routine can help you wind down after a long day and relax before bed. Recently I purchased some skincare products and have been loving jumping out of the shower and doing my skincare. I now find that this is something I look forward to every day and I am excited to go to bed early because of it. 

Other routines to get into can be:

  • Morning routines such as making your bed and then having a cup of coffee.
  • Exercise routines such as going for a 15min walk every day after lunch. 
  • Eating routines such as eating dinner at the same time every day. 
  • Lifestyle routines such as reading for 10min a day.
  • Studying routines such as consistently using the Pomodoro technique when doing uni work.

Number 5 – Try journaling 

Finally, here is an option for those who tend to overthink or want an outlet for their thoughts and feelings. Journalling comes in many forms, and it is such a customisable experience. Some people choose to do a formatted type of journaling where they list their goals for the day, what they are grateful for, their recent moods etc. Others, such as myself, like to just brain dump my thoughts about life. It is surprisingly therapeutic and helps people organise their thoughts. 

Thanks for reading my blog! I understand that winter is hard on everyone, but it is important to remember it does not last forever and that optimism and hope are essential in these times! I hope that these habits help you as much as they help me 🙂 

Feel free to leave a comment. I’ll see you next time!