It seems like a lifetime ago that we were in shorts and t-shirts lying in the Common during Freshers’. With the blink of an eye, lectures have started and we’re already planning events for Christmas (the Ball, Christmas bookings at The Bridge and the Christmas Light Switch-On are all pencilled in our calendar). But while the festivities makes this time of year one of excitement, the early morning slog to uni in the dark can sometimes take its toll. If you’re finding yourself missing home after the buzz of Freshers’ or you simply fancy a little winter pick-me-up, we’re here to help:

  1. Get out in the sunlight

The lack of sunlight may seem like a dream for an owl and that you can’t wait for the sunshine to be back again, but how much are you really making the most of it now? Try to plan ahead and ensure that your plans to go out are at least mostly in the daylight. Not only is it safer (no walking home alone in the dark!), but you will feel better for getting things done and you can feel 0% guilt for binge-watching The Walking Dead when you return. Win, win!

  1. Natural light lamps

If the lack of light is really getting you down, there are a range of natural light lamps on the market. Designed for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), they work by appearing to the eye as natural light. If this is something you would benefit from, make sure you skip to tip seven as well.

  1. Plan ahead

We’ve all done it. Planned to go to the library at 09:00 or fobbed off an early morning gym session for a couple of extra hours kip. If pre-midday feels like your nemesis, then why not make concrete plans by using a diary or your phone calendar and setting yourself reminders. By telling your friends you will meet them, you have committed and are more likely to go along. The more you do in the day will help you to sleep better at night so the early mornings get easier.

  1. Exercise with Yoga

Serotonin, the happy hormone is naturally at its lowest point in the morning. That’s why some people find it particularly hard to get up first thing. If you’re struggling, try to do stretches or some light yoga to help ease you into the day. You can find some great free YouTube videos online specifically aimed for morning yoga and there’s always the Yoga Society who will be able to show you how to do the techniques properly.

  1. Avoid a food energy slump

That Christmas Toffee Nut Latte might have your name written all over it (if they spell it right 😉 ), but all that sugar might come back to bite you later on. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll be having our fair share of Christmas treats, but try to think carefully about when you are indulging and how often. Your best bet is to have slow release energy in the morning to keep you going until lunch. Opt for porridge with chopped banana, wholemeal toast with beans or a poached egg. You’ll find having breakfast will wake you up in the morning too.

  1. Talk to someone

Do you often find yourself thinking… I wonder how such-and-such person is doing?! Stay connected with friends and family while you are uni by giving them a ring. If you don’t feel like it or they’re a bit busy to talk, why not write them a good old fashion snail mail letter? Now you’re students, we promise that this underrated form of communication will be a god-send now that you get have to deal with bills.

However you’re feeling, make sure that you don’t forget that we are always here to offer a listening ear. Find out more about how you can access our free support services on our website.