Playing the Winter Blues

When writing or editing an article, I love to sit on my bed with a cup of coffee. My roommate and I have the perfect room this year that includes a beautiful view of the sky at dusk every evening. It’s a little piece of Zen that I have in my life; to sit, edit and watch the sky. But now it’s November. We have pushed our clocks back and the cold weather is setting in. It seemed to have happened over night. The sky is cloudy and the sun we rarely see sets at 5:30 pm. Yes, a lot of people have trouble when the weather changes, but most seem to be able to continue functioning normally. But what if you are affected by the cold more than others, to a point where getting out of bed is difficult? The number of times I have experienced this feeling is too many to count. I can say, however, that I have formed habits over the years which aid in not letting the loss of color outside change my usual happy mood.

I found that distracting myself on freezing, gloomy days keeps my mindset in a good place. Whether that be working on homework, cooking, working out, or reading a book, I had ways of keeping my mind occupied. In high school, I had activities like dance and student council that stimulated my brain for extended periods of time. However, on the weekends those activities paused, and I felt stranded. I needed something else to do. Since my mom was always in the kitchen making something amazing for dinner, I would ask to help. Cooking with her gave me another way of removing myself from what I was feeling on certain days. I became a lot closer to her during this time as well, which is something I am so grateful for.

Writing also helped my mind. But not this kind of writing. I’m talking about lists and, strangely enough, calendars (just hear me out on this one). I make countless checklists to this day of simple tasks I aim to complete by the end of a week. The satisfaction of crossing something off made me want to move right to the next bullet point. Again, another distraction. I planned special days with my family and friends that I could write on my calendar. The anticipation for a specific event to happen always made me excited. Taking time to reach out to my friends was always extremely beneficial. I thought that maybe they were feeling the same way I was about the weather.

One of the most beneficial habits I made sure to make use of on these chilly days was simple: remember what your goals are. A lot of the time I wanted to stay in bed all day. But then I remembered that I had an assignment to complete or a new move in dance that I wanted to master before our next competition. How would I make either of those goals work if I didn’t get up and get moving? I always thanked myself once I got up, knowing that I was going to feel good once I make some progress toward any goal I had in mind. It is so difficult to stay motivated during this time of the year. Sometimes it takes everything in me to start my day. But once I get there, there’s no turning back.

Remember that you can’t do anything about the weather, but you can change how it makes you feel. I always say that just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It also means that today is still a new day. Focus on yourself. You’re stronger than a little bit of snow.

Good Luck.