It’s Blue Monday, officially the most depressing day of the year according to psychologists. So, if you’re feeling a little burnt out after the Christmas break, you may be experiencing the phenomenon of ‘second term blues’ characterised by feelings of lethargy and depression with no identifiable cause. Getting the most out of the second term relies on being as motivated and organised as you were for the first. That means there’s no better time to set goals and get involved with new events or projects - starting your year off as you mean to go on! Here are six ideas to help you make it through…
1. Get involved!
Combat the blues by joining a new club or society. We have a fab line-up of Welcome Back Week activities starting today! Check out all the events we have here. With more than 70 opportunities, our student-led groups bring like-minded students together to share an interest, culture or activity. They’re an easy and cheap way (many are free) to get involved in the Goldsmiths community, meet new people and gain new skills.
This year, we have loads of new societies and communities holding events. If you love a good debate, get involved with the Liberate the Debate Society who aim to provide spaces for open and free discussion on controversial, important and trivial topics. They’re hosting their first event with the Politics Society. You can buy tickets here: https://www.goldsmithssu.org/ents/event/1989/ If hip-hop is more your thing, make sure you join the Hip-Hop Appreciation Society. They hope to dissect and break down the different sub genres of hip-hop whilst sharing ideas and opinions and spreading awareness of the culture. The Society will do hip-hop listening debates and events, dissect the lyrics and make playlists. Whatever floats your boat, getting involved in something new is a sure-fire way of achieving that feel-good buzz.
Volunteering or joining a society gives you a distraction from work as well as transferable skills for your CV. It’s also a great way to meet people outside of your normal social circumstances.
During Welcome Back Week, a new student group has been set up to work with Amnesty International UK on petitions and fundraising events as well as raising awareness of human rights and involvement in Amnesty campaigns. The group will be hosting their first Write for Rights Workshop this Wednesday. Check out the details here.
3. Up the fitness
Studies show that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. You don’t need to go mad and start training for a marathon but a little bit of exercise will definitely boost your energy levels. ‘The key to preserving the wellbeing of both the body and mind is exercise,’ Sonny O’Garro, a fitness instructor from Club Pulse at Goldsmiths told us. ‘Physical activity can provide a release for mental stress, as well as providing many other health benefits.’ Click here for more info.
If sweating it up in a gym doesn’t sound like it's for you, why not think about joining the newly formed Capoeira Society here at Goldsmiths – Capoeira is a mixture of martial arts, dancing and acrobatics and the group are organising classes, taught by professional instructors, every few weeks. Yay.
4. Make a realistic plan
If you’re worrying about money and are thinking about getting a part-time job, head over to the Careers Service for some advice on interviews and CV prep.
And if you’re panicking about all the work and exams you’ve got on at the mo, have a read of our Time Management Tips article from last week to help get yourself organised. After all, a tidy mind equals a healthy mind – which is certainly one way of boosting your mood and releasing that stress.
5. Get crafty
Sure, it might not be for everyone, but knitting is officially proven to boost your mood. According to experts, it can help you feel more in control of the world around you as it’s a rhythmic craft so it releases serotonin and dopamine and induces a feeling of calm. If you’re already a super-fan or you’ve never knitted before in your life, why not pop along to our Welcome Back Week Knitting! With Happy Calm Knitting Society TODAY at 5-6.30pm (RHB 350). As well as tea, cake, carrots, croissants and crab sticks, they'll also supply enough needles and wool for everyone, so you can just show up and join in.
6. Eat well
If you overdid it a bit at Christmas, then you’re not alone! Don’t skip breakfast though, as low blood sugar can affect energy and mood. Porridge – which is low-fat, filling and warm - provides mood-friendly B vitamins, iron and zinc, and keeps blood glucose levels steady.
We’re sticking with the healthy vibe so at the SU Café (for January only) we’ve got a buy-1-get-1-free deal on all fruit (so two of your five-a-day at once… win win), plus 10p off Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta Zero and water. They’ve also reduced their Keep Cup 12oz (glass), to £10.00 for Jan!
Of course, if you’re feeling very low and are struggling with everyday life, make sure you ask for help and talk to someone. Have a look at our support pages here and book in a meeting with a Goldsmiths Wellbeing Advisor, or someone from the emergency and crisis support or counselling team.