Whether or not you are in the middle of a winter dip, according to Resource blogger Geert van Zandbrink a regular visit to the psychologist for some psychological maintenance is both enlightening and cathartic. ‘There is no need to consider this a big step.’
© Sven Menschel
Many people consider January and February their least favourite months. The dark days after Christmas, when all the Christmas lights have been taken down, are winter months that we all spend waiting for spring’s first rays of sunlight. At the university, the short 4-week periods, while keeping life organised and manageable, also cause stress.
It’s no wonder that the number of depressions increases during these months. Perhaps as a result of a shortage of vitamin D or a lack of perceived light at the end of the tunnel. British psychologist Cliff Arnall coined the term ‘Blue Monday’ for the third Monday in January, claiming it to be the most depressing day of the year: New Years’ resolutions have failed, and there are no holidays in sight.
“Intellect comes with a certain, unavoidable, psychological activity.”
It’s not as bad as it seems, and it’s part of life. It’s also something you can consider a challenge to be actively taken on. Personally, I consider it extremely cathartic and enlightening to have some psychological maintenance done every once in a while. Some see a visit to a psychiatrist as a huge step, but that is unnecessary, in my opinion.
We are all enrolled at a university, where we ended up as a result of being smart. Intellect comes with a certain, unavoidable, psychological activity. Furthermore, an academic career does not leave the psyche unaffected. That is why WUR launched a programme such as ‘Surf your Stress’, which specifically aims to bring mental health out into the open.
Although there is currently a waiting list, there are university psychologists you can simply walk in and visit. There are also numerous other options. You need to feel comfortable with a psychologist to make progress, but there is nothing wrong with giving it a try. There is no need to wait until you have a depression or a burnout. In fact: It’s an excellent strategy to prevent yourself from reaching that stage.
In spite of the doubts I previously had, I am very happy that I chose to visit a psychologist for the first time a few years ago. And now I would recommend it to everyone. A psychologist can explain what happens in your head, allowing you to understand your brain’s activity better. Amazing, isn’t it?
Geert van Zandbrink studies Economy and Governance.