Earlier this week, we all went through Blue Monday. I’m not talking about the song by New Order — even though it is perfect for cold winter nights. Blue Monday, which was on Jan. 16 this year, is widely considered to be the most depressing day of the year. Instead of letting the blues hit where it hurts, here’s a list of easy self-care activities to help combat the dark and dreary nights.
Cook a quick meal
While it does sound counterintuitive to most people with depression, cooking can actually help. According to a 2017 study, cooking your own food can help increase positive feelings about yourself. Cooking allows you to eat a good, healthy and full meal — or a delicious, rewarding dessert.
Worried about cooking in a dorm? No-bake recipes are the way to go. From cheesecake to edible cookie dough, the dessert world is at your fingertips. For savory meals, try these incredible recipes or find anything that can be made in a rice cooker.
Create a collage
Art therapy has been around since the 1940s and consistently proves to help patients feel more positive through artistic expression. Collaging falls under the art therapy umbrella, perfect for those who aren’t artistically talented. With many free publications around IU, like the IDS, collaging becomes easy, cheap and accessible. All you need are scissors and some glue, which can thankfully be found at the Dollar Tree.
Play a video game
Studies show that playing video games might actually help combat depression symptoms; however, it can be hard to game on a budget, with most games costing over $25. That being said, some incredible games are free to play on a computer, are Sims 4 and RuneScape. Online gaming is a perfect opportunity for a night in with friends. It might even be worth combatting middle school flashbacks with a game of Fireboy and Watergirl or one of the countless classics found on coolmathgames.com.
Try a meditation
Meditation isn’t for everyone, but it might be worth a try. Regular meditation, according to Harvard Health, can help decrease everyday stress and anxiety. Apps like Headspace and Calm do help, but paywalls make them less accessible than desired. Instead, YouTube has thousands of mediations to combat anxiety and depression. My personal favorites are this mini-meditation from Headspace and this calming mediation aimed towards curbing panic attacks.