Thriving in winter months

Division of Student Affairs provides tips for dealing with winter blues

From the desk of Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for student affairs

Let’s face it: For many of us, winter can be more challenging. The weather can be unpredictable resulting in less sunshine, which can impact our moods. I also realize that many of you may still be struggling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that winter won’t last forever — as of this writing, there are fewer than 60 days until the first day of spring!  In the meantime, however, here are a few simple self-care habits to boost your mental and physical health.

Express gratitude.

Spend just a couple minutes each day to consider the good things that happen. You might keep a journal or keep track of your gratitude using Sanvello (free to anyone with a university email address).

Simply make note of anything you’re grateful for, no matter how small. A good cup of coffee. A moment of sunlight. Keeping track of the little things slowly changes the nature of your thoughts. Your mind will gradually start looking for good things and paying more attention to them.

Be active.

Get outside, even when it’s cold. Or, if you can’t bear the temperatures, MizzouRec is open and has social distancing measure in place to keep you safe. TigerX group fitness classes are available at no charge to all rec fee-paying students and MizzouRec members. Classes will be offered both virtually and limited in-person.

Reach out to a friend.

Winter weather and social distancing requirements have delivered a one-two punch to our social lives. Take advantage of technology to maintain connections. Use Zoom, FaceTime or just the simple telephone to stay in touch with people who matter to you. Write an email or even an old-fashioned letter on paper.

Let us know how to help.

We’re interested in knowing what you need to succeed this semester. You can let us know by completing this very brief survey. (Note: this survey is not the New Student Check-In.)

If none of this seems to help, or if you just feel overwhelmed, please know we have resources available to you. Consider calling the Counseling Center. I’m also here to listen. Email me, phone me, stop by my office at any time — I’ll be happy to help you troubleshoot problems, connect you with helpful resources or simply listen.

Stay well, wash your hands and wear your face covering.

January snow covers bikes parked on the Mizzou campus.
January snow covers bikes parked on the Mizzou campus.