German weather in the winter can be especially hard to deal with. It seems almost always to be cloudy, rainy, and cold. I feel that through my experiences and what other CBYXers have said, it is important to know how this can affect you and things you can do to prevent feeling down in the winter!
With the weather conditions not always being the greatest, it can cause you to start feeling down or depressed. Many people have said they can see how seasonal depression takes place due to the weather, but there are ways to try and help combat this!
1. When it is sunny outside, go do something fun!
Coming from Florida, the Sunshine State, I was always around the sun, with no worries about how some people may need to pay more attention to when it is sunny out! My host parents had talked to me about this and told me when it is sunny out I should try and go outside, as it may only be sunny for a few hours. I found that on these days I started to feel a lot better, just happier and having more energy!
2. Reach out to your German partner organization.
It may be hard to do at first, but your German partner organization should be able to provide even more resources! I am with Experiment e.V. and they have relationships with a specific network, although are not directly affiliated. Experiment e.V. can help you reach out to them to receive professional help that you may need!
3. Treat yourself!
It may be helpful to buy a few cheap things to make your life a little cozier. I would recommend possibly some candles, mood lights, tea, and some snacks! All of these things can help you feel a little happier, in what can be a hard time. It also can allow you to have some quiet time to just think, watch a movie, or read.
4. Take care of yourself!
You should form a daily routine, such as brushing your teeth, making your bed, taking a shower, or anything else that you find you need, in the first month or two. Sticking to this routine before the cold starts to set in can help. It allows you to know that you need to do these specific things every day and you can hold yourself accountable for it.
5. Start a journal!
You may be worried that you have nothing fun to talk about, but just writing about how you feel or what you did that day can be very helpful. In Germany, it can be very hard to express how you are feeling in a different language, but if you write them down you can kind of process everything and think over everything that is going on during your exchange year. Many alumni also told us how it had been fun to look back on what they had journaled during their exchange year, so that is also a bonus!