If you couple the fact that classes are becoming increasingly difficult as they progress with the passing of midterms, the shortening of days and the sharp drop in temperatures, you have the perfect recipe for a midsemester slump.
After midterms were completed last fall, I retreated to my LED strip lit room and binged an unhealthy number of seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy.” By the time the weeks hit double digits in the semester, getting up and going to class started to feel like an unfathomable chore. This year, I’m working to change these feelings and stay on track.
Adjust the routine
For starters, I’m adjusting my routine to ensure that I’m seeing the most sunlight that I can. While I may be a night owl, the ever earlier darkness puts an extreme damper on my mood. I’m trying to shift my awake hours up a bit so that I can bask in the bright sun for as long as it’s out.
The time change helped jumpstart this change, as my body doesn’t just take on an extra hour of sleep. While it’s taking some time to get adjusted to meeting the sun between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., eking out those precious few hours of daylight is well worth the effort. On the backend, going to bed earlier has been the easy part.
I’ve also shifted around my routine for getting stuff done. I used to take my mornings slowly, ensuring I was primed and ready for the day. Now, I wake up and get breakfast as soon as I can, and then it’s off to the races. I typically like to be working on homework or one of my asynchronous classes by 9:30 a.m. to put the sunlight to good use.
This shift allows me to have my leisure time in the evening when the sun has already disappeared for the day. While I may be a night owl, there is such a thing as too much darkness for me, so I try and mitigate that the best I can.
Embrace the season
I’m also trying to lean into the fall and early winter season a bit more than usual. I’ve carved pumpkins for Halloween, planned more Thanksgiving get-togethers than I can keep track of and started doing my Christmas shopping and decorating early. While I haven’t put up the tree yet, I’m really looking forward to a sense of community this year.
I’m also working to learn to tolerate the cold. While I’m no skier or snowboarder, Big Rapids offers some incredibly beautiful walking and hiking trails for those who like more tame winter exercise. The cooler air is more oxygenated, making it an even more enticing time to get out and get active.
This is also the perfect time to try something new. I finally invested in a crockpot towards the end of last winter, so I’m looking forward to seeing what tasty soups and stews I can make in just one crock. I’ll probably need to buy a second freezer for what I have planned.
For those feeling the midsemester slump, don’t fret. There are only three and a half weeks of instruction left at the time of print. Finish strong, keep up the hard work and don’t falter just before the finish line.