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Every year without fail, I am shocked by how long the evenings feel without daylight savings. What are we supposed to do after the sun sets at 4:30 p.m. when it’s cold and pitch black outside? Here are some things that you can do to pass the time and take care of yourself during this chaotic season!

Get creative with dinner: 

Some of my favourite dishes are hearty meals like soups and pasta followed by decadent desserts, all of which are perfect for the winter. Seasonal fall vegetables like squash and carrots are perfect for soups! For desserts, make use of cinnamon, apple and gingerbread flavours to make yourself a delicious sweet treat. Now is the ideal time to experiment with new recipes and spend some time in the kitchen. Not only does cooking help you pass the time, but it is a valuable skill that will almost always leave you with a tasty meal! 

Implement a lavish evening care routine:

The evening will inevitably feel never-ending, so you should make the most of it with a luxurious routine of self-care. During these chilly months, our skin tends to get dry and irritated, so it needs some extra TLC. A lovely way to spend the evening is taking a warm, calming bath followed by an ultra-hydrating skincare routine. Alternatively, try taking special care of your mental health this season. With more downtime, I find the winter is the perfect time to spend your nights doing a guided meditation or a relaxing yoga flow.

Find a new favourite book or TV series:

We all need a comfort show or book to help us through this long, dark and often stressful part of the year. When you need a break from preparing for finals, snuggle up in front of the tv or with a good book. I’ve been rewatching the series Superstore for some easy-going comedy. I also just finished The White Lotus, which really caught my attention. I love to read and am currently working on finishing the novel The House Of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden before the new film adaptation comes out.

Do something artistic:

This is the perfect time of year to resume or begin a creative hobby! I have loved art since I was young and always find myself reopening my sketchbooks around this season. Setting aside some time every night, whether it is 15 minutes or an hour, will allow you to express yourself and have some fun without relying on screens! I recently got a ukulele and I am having so much fun learning how to play. It is not only enjoyable and satisfying to learn a new skill, but it is a wonderful way to wind down after a busy day. 

Journal:

There is no denying that this time of year can be very difficult for many of us. From school stress to seasonal depression, we must prioritize our mental health. Something that really helps me cope is journaling. Whether I’m writing a to-do list or filling pages with stream-of-consciousness, I always feel more clear-headed after a journaling session. If you want to journal but don’t know what to write, there are plenty of prompts on Pinterest. A favourite of mine is to write about one good thing and one bad thing that happened in my day and three things I am grateful for. 

Remember, this time of year is tough for a lot of people and you are not alone. If you need some extra support, you can always open up to a friend or reach out to the mental health services offered here at Dal and King’s:

https://www.dal.ca/campus_life/health-and-wellness/my-health/mental-health.html

https://ukings.ca/campus-community/student-services/health/mental/

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Sophie Gregg

Dalhousie '24

Sophie is a second-year Dalhousie University student majoring in law, justice and society. She is an avid reader and writer with a love of current events, media and fashion. In her free time, she can be found drinking iced lattes, shopping for books and clothes, and scrolling through TikTok.
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