As the seasons change, temperatures drop and the sun sets earlier, our bodies are flustered with the change. Less sun causes a drop in vitamin D, leading to less productivity and exhaustion. I, for one, do not appreciate seasonal changes and the readjustment that comes with it.

Over the years of battling time and temperature change, I have learned a few helpful tips that have kept me happy and productive through it all.

Increase that vitamin D

Having enough vitamin D in our bodies leads to greater overall productiveness, less anxiety and depression and overall just makes us happier. There are a few ways that we can up those vitamin D levels. For starters, taking a daily vitamin D supplement allows our body to get the daily recommended levels that we need. However, this might get it in our body in a large amount, but our bodies do not absorb the vitamins fast enough. Finding foods high in vitamin D is another key step in getting those levels up. There are so many good foods that contain a good amount of vitamin D: fish, eggs and orange juice are a few. Just a quick Google search will pull up many different simple foods that will help you out.

Please, step outside

Although it is gloomy out, stepping outside is more important than ever. Especially with finals right around the corner, we are cramming ourselves in dark rooms with poor air circulation for hours. Our bodies cannot take too much of that. Stepping outside for 20 to 30 minutes will help get you in a better mood. What I have found to be the perfect strategy is just eating my lunch outside. I don’t feel like I am wasting time outdoors because I’m still doing something. Make sure to enjoy this time outdoors and really take deep breaths of the fresh air. 

Get that sleep schedule down

It’s hard to go to bed at the same time in college, but when we have such little sunlight coming in every day it is extremely important to get up and lay down at the same time every day. Having a consistent sleep schedule will allow you to feel more rested, positive and productive. Sleep is so important for your body, and getting those eight hours at the same time every night gets your body into a routine. This allows your body to feel a good amount of normalcy even when everything else around us is changing.  

Doing these simple tasks daily should be enough to kickstart your body during these somber times. After doing these things, I feel more rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever life has to throw at me.

If you are still in a rut after trying these tips, talking to friends and family about what is concerning you is also important. Do not keep in how you are feeling. Also, talking to a professional about ways to get out of a seasonal change rut is a great way to get help during wintertime. Always prioritize yourself and your feelings to help stay productive.