Do you find yourself a little down or blue around the winter holidays? As the days get shorter and the nights grow colder, many people experience the “winter blues”, or seasonal sadness. This depression causes serious mood changes that last throughout the fall and winter when there’s less natural sunlight, and it can show up year after year. These changes are often characterized by mild depression, low energy and a lack of motivation all of which prevent you from being the happiest person you can be. If you’re a victim of winter blues, don’t despair. You can fight seasonal sadness by making a few simple changes that can make all the different. If the darker days are getting you down, boost your spirits now with these seven tips: 1. Schedule some "me" time
Whether it is five minutes or an hour, do something for yourself every day. Personally I start the day with some me time. I get in a solid 30 minute workout, catch up with my social feeds and then relax a bit before starting my day. Start putting yourself first and you will notice the difference it makes.2. Explore a passion
Do not let the winter blues keep you down. Are you doing what you love to do? Is there something that you always wanted to learn? Have you put enough time towards a current craft? Exploring whatever it is you are passionate about will help keep your spirits up. It is a way of remaining inspired and creative throughout the season. As a photographer, I like to go out and shoot a new model, setting or theme to keep those creative juices flowing.3. Limit your commitments
I am speaking from experience. Do not start off the term with too much on your plate. You will want to join every club, attend all the kick-off events, get one more job or internship and hang out with all the friends you missed over the break. Then gradually, without realizing it, you will start to burn out. Take time to write out all your commitments. It is easy to forget something when you have many things going on. After writing out that schedule, prioritize each item on the list and remove anything that is unnecessary.4. Clean up your social media
When ringing in the new year, you may have participated in a couple of celebrations here and there. That's fine. How about those selfies, those photos a little on the "wild" "happy" side? Rethink before you post on your social media, photos that may be embarrassing. That kind of exposure may not help you land an interview for the job or internship you just applied to. "But Polly, my profile is private..." nope, I do not want to hear it. If you are questioning the photos, post or would be ashamed if your mother, grandmother, or future boss saw it, then right click and hit delete. Save all those moments for your personal archives, it is better to be safe than sorry. 5. Attend a networking event
With the start of a new term there are many events occurring, I recommend finding a networking event . Attend a career fair, mock interviews, job talks etc. It will be a great way to expand your circle, develop new connections or strengthen current relationships. You can start your search within your school's career center, most likely they have one planned for the new year. 6. Get healthy
I read a post on Tumblr: "summer bodies are made in the winter." It was a good laugh at first but then I realized how accurate that statement was. This is the time to dig up those gym shorts and shoes. Start by doing smaller activities like taking the stairs instead of an elevator, parking your car a bit further than usual or drinking a glass of water instead of soda. These little changes will make all the difference and will help give you the confidence boost you need to enter the gym.7. Make one plan for the summer
Yes, summer! Do you want to travel somewhere new? Attend a conference? Have a dream internship? Setting long term goals will help keep you motivated throughout the term. It will give you something to be excited about. My girlfriends and I are planning a trip to the Bahamas in June to celebrate our academic success. Start brainstorming what it is that you would want to do to make this summer epic.