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Every year when winter is around the corner, I go all out and make my space as cozy, safe, and homely as it can be. But ironically it is also the season that hits home for me the hardest. I feel homesick in the one place that makes me feel most at ease with myself, a feeling that is awfully hard to explain. Not to mention how the bittersweet feeling loses all its sweetness when January comes into play and the holiday season wears off completely. The weather pushes us to tune into feeling cozier and warmer but it also challenges us to feel more vulnerable and it can be a major downer. I feel a bit slowed down and find it difficult to be my usual spirited self while experiencing a spurge of loneliness. But as I am getting older, I am learning to not give myself a hard time for how a season makes me feel but instead acknowledging that a whole lot of us feel this way. I am learning to deal with it my way, and hopefully, this article will help you discover your preferred way.  What I am hoping to spark in you are ideas that will encourage you to find your personal best ways that work for you to feel better, be a little easier on yourself, and gain perspective around the times in your life that either make you feel all the feels or absolutely nothing at all.

Holidays are personally very exciting for me because I have a knack for making my house flood with adorable festive items from cushions to fairy lights and candles. It is the one time I can get away with my consumerist habits and not feel guilty about it. It also happens to be my birthday month which gives me additional excuses to throw themed parties and karaoke the life out of my soul with my best friends. One of the best ways to get into the groove of the season is by literally throwing parties with your closest friends and singing your lungs out owing to the beautiful invention of karaoke. I love the spotlight with all my friends around but it is something you can do without company as well. I carry this ritual with me into January as my playlist transitions from singing Last Christmas to When Doves Cry. It still gets me in the spirit though. I also cheat a little by watching holiday special movies in the dreadful time between Christmas and New Years’ that takes the life out of life. Working according to my timeline is not only ideal but a necessity that gets me going when it gets too overwhelming.

Besides all the pep from the parties, one thing that most people will run away from, including me, is exercising. It does not have to be that strict but anything that involves remote movement and gets your endorphins going. I personally love this one as it adds routine and structure to my days when even the mundane seems too much because of the weather and the little tasks take additional effort. I always find exercising helps me get into the rhythm of my day but I also think it should be the kind which you are comfortable with and do not feel obliged to do as it is supposed to make you feel better. Just take my word for it and go with your gut. I am rooting for you regardless of what you choose to do!

This goes without saying it but I rely on comfort foods during winters. You can find me wrapped up in my little world making tuna noodle casserole and relishing it like I am a Masterchef contestant. It gives me a lot of joy and I know it gets a lot of people excited too. We have had a tough time already dealing with the pandemic and the added load of seasonal sadness might make it a bit harder than usual. It is completely okay to look after yourself the way you think works best whether that’s indulging or following a set plan. Growth is variable and not measured by any standards but you. It looks different on everyone and if you need to pivot for some time, it is more than okay.

The most important realization that I have come to over the years is that sometimes it is okay to simply pour yourself a glass of wine and acknowledge that life can get hard sometimes and that’s okay. You have made it this far and you will definitely get through this. It is okay to just go about your days with or without looking for moments filled with solitary bliss. This year has been hard for all of us on varying levels. But regardless of everything, feel free to give yourself space to get crafty, mellow out, find ways to get creative and artsy, or whatever it is that makes you, YOU. It is completely valid like all of your feelings. Pace yourself and take good care of yourself. You got this!

Priyasha Mohanty

Delhi South '21

Figuring it out as I go!
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