Student Life

SAU Counseling Center’s Winter Survival Guide

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman)

As winter continues, students across St. Ambrose University may find themselves grappling with the effects of the season on their mental well being. This time of year, commonly characterized by colder temperatures and shorter days, can bring forth feelings of winter blues. 

According to the SAU Counseling Center, symptoms of the winter blues can manifest in various ways, including “fatigue, decreased energy, loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, feeling irritable or anxious, and trouble concentrating or thinking clearly”. Recognizing these signs early on is crucial in implementing effective coping strategies. 

Thankfully, the counseling center stands ready to provide support and guidance to students at St. Ambrose. According to the center, students can access a range of support options, including individual counseling sessions, as well as referrals to other campus and community resources tailored to the student’s needs. 

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman)

As for students who are currently suffering from the winter blues, the counseling center recommends a multifaceted approach to managing these feelings. They say daily exposure to sunlight or light therapy is often beneficial in the darker winter months. A healthy lifestyle is another important aspect of treatment, including proper nutrition, and regular exercise. 

Additionally, the counseling center stresses the importance of a healthy social life. They say it is important to confide in friends and family when possible. 

Self care is another vital aspect of treatment that the counseling center emphasizes, “Try to participate in activities you enjoy, and be patient and kind to yourself.” 

While treatment strategies often vary from person to person, seeking guidance from a mental health professional, such as those available through the counseling center, can help individuals identify the most suitable approach for their needs. The counseling center emphasizes the importance of personalized care and encourages students to explore available resources to find what works best for them.

The SAU Counseling Center is gearing up for Managing Stress Academic Workshops led by Amber Dopler, an outreach and prevention specialist. These workshops are set to begin February 20th and will equip students with valuable tools for maintaining mental well being. 

As the winter months progress, the SAU Counseling Center remains strong in its commitment to supporting students through the challenges of the season. With a range of services and resources, students can find the assistance they need to overcome the winter blues and thrive both academically and personally.