We have returned to campus from our Fall Break!
The crimson, orange, and yellow leaves of the trees have all fallen to the ground, preparing the way for the approach of winter. We can now see the branches of the trees in their actual form and coloration. Although these bare tree branches are beautiful, they appear frigid and icy, possibly because we share the coldness of the weather!
Here are three ways to stay warm and hopefully motivated throughout the new school year.
1. Appreciate the Sun More.
This is stating the obvious yet important to reiterate. The number of daylight hours has gradually decreased. That being said, without the sun peeking through the cracks of your curtains, it may be harder to get up in the morning. So once the sun is out, it is our chance to greet it and bathe in its warmth. But remember to put on sunscreen before you leave the house!
While the comforting embrace may affect you to nod off for a moment, it will lift your spirits and provide some much-needed vitamin D. Better sleep and a stronger immune system are just two of the many positive outcomes associated with vitamin D, as outlined in a 2019 September article published by Healtline.
2. Light Exercising.
The simple act of walking to and from our lessons on foot or bicycle here on our large campus counts as a light kind of exercise. You can also practice some basic stretching exercises. The 2018 January Healthline article, for instance, provides a list of three basic stretches for beginners. 1). Overhead stretch, 2). Torso stretch, 3). Cat and cow stretch. They also advise that you try to hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds. Exercising will not only keep you warm but will also wake you up by improving your blood flow.
3. Warming the Feet before Bed.
According to Eric Suni’s article on Sleep Foundation, socks worn to bed will enhance distal vasodilation, “which refers to an increase of blood to your hands and feet that reduces your core body temperature quicker.” However, if the materials around your feet make you feel uncomfortable, “warming the feet for 20 minutes before bed lowers insomnia symptoms” and keeps you warm throughout the night. Ways to warm the feet can be some stretches, a warm bath before bed, or using a 湯たんぽ; Yutanpo.
Bonus: Hot tea does not keep you warm for long.
Professor Peter McNaughton, a neurologist from the University of Cambridge, is quoted in an article by Lottie Shaw’s as stating, “consuming hot beverages, such as tea or hot water, will raise your core body temperature, and this makes you sweat at an increased rate.” Therefore, while hot tea can keep you warm, this effect may be short-lived due to perspiration. However, we must be reminded that in addition to drinking, hot tea can be used in various ways. Such as holding on to the hot cup or momentarily applying the heated steam from the tea to your skin will keep you warm for a while.
Appreciating the sun, doing some light exercising, and warming our feet before bed are three ways to keep warm while the temperature decreases. Good luck to everyone in the Winter term, and let’s continue to put in our best effort because winter break and Christmas are just around the corner!