Man staring out the window at the rain

Weathering the rainstorms

January 17, 2022
Author: Preet Parmar

How to prioritize your well-being when it's gloomy outside

It’s that time of the year when the rain (sometimes snow) and darkness takes a hold on us. The cooler weather and shorter days feel extra draining on the soul. If you’re anything like me, the consistent clouds and regular rain showers can get you feeling the blues and full of gloom. Add the stress associated with physical distancing and keeping your mask on at all times due to COVID-19, and my somber thoughts and sentiments snowball more than average.

In times like these, what helps me the most is doing the things that consistently elevate my mood and keep me healthy. To help you stay well, here are some tips:

Get active and eat healthy

Staying healthy and in good physical shape will help you cope with stress. Exercise can boost your immune system and improve overall self-esteem. There are lots of VIU recreational activities you can partake in for the remainder of the semester to get active. Check out VIU’s Student Life Activity Guide for options. While you feed your body with exercise, don’t forget to fuel yourself with healthy food. You are what you eat. Eat delicious food that energizes you. One of my favourite lunches in VIU’s upper cafeteria is the falafel wrap.

Reach out to friends and family

It can be difficult to see friends and family as much as we like, but there are ways to work around that during the pandemic, like connecting through Facetime or Skype. Social relationships are essential for conserving good mental health!

Keep a positive attitude

Is your glass half empty or half full? Stop negative self-talk to reduce anxiety and depression. Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Schedule some self-care

Self-care can be put aside when you’re in the midst of completing assignments and papers. It’s important to take a break from the hustle and bustle and just simply relax! Read up on self-care techniques in my How to Practice Self-Care blog post.

Seek help when you need it

When the skies are grey, life can start to feel a little grey, too, especially in such unpredictable times like the pandemic. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing a range of human emotions –life is full of highs and lows – but if these emotions are getting too challenging to handle on your own, or you’re just not feeling like yourself, consider getting help from some of VIU’s support services.

There are also a couple relatively new online supports available: The Government of Canada’s Wellness Together portal offers access to free and confidential online mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here2Talk is a BC Government platform that connects post-secondary students – domestic and international – with free, confidential counselling and community referral services, available 24-7 via the app, phone and website.


Preet Parmar is a second-generation Canadian with hometown roots in Vancouver, BC. She is currently a Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology student at VIU and her long-term goal is to enter the legal profession.

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