Speaking especially for the individuals who come from warmer states, the winter months can be exceptionally rough on the mind and body. Effects of this time of year can range from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to seasonal influenza. How can we brace ourselves?
1. Create more: It is natural to spend unnaturally lengthy periods of time indoors and this can negatively impact our moods over time. During this season, I’ve found remedy in creative hobbies. A simple pack of canvases, brushes and watercolor paint can literally add color to the monotonous white, gray and black days of winter.
2. Stimulate the mind: While indoors, why not make time to engage our minds? Especially in regard to non-academic pursuits, nothing is preventing you from learning a new language, recipe or skill. Challenge your mind.
3. Stimulate the body: Stretching and calisthenics are great ways to keep your body less prone to injury and also helps to regulate the brain chemicals that are altered by our lack of sunlight.
4. Hibernate on healthier foods: Eating a balance of nutrient dense foods are your strongest defense against seasonal illnesses. Keeping foods and snacks in your house that are rich in Vitamin C is a good strategy for staying healthy all season.
5. Be with people: Not only do other people provide heat, but they are great for getting your mind off the dismal temperatures. Don’t just paint, but paint with others. Don’t just randomly get up and stretch alone, find some people and throw some mats on the floor for group yoga. Don’t just eat alone in your dorm or apartment; invite your friends to mooch off your meal-plan. Most things can be improved by having a friend join you for the winter ride. Brace yourselves!