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Tips and Tricks to Get Through the Darkest Days of Winter

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Winter can be a wonderful time. The air gets crisp, the holidays are approaching, and loved ones are coming back into town. Activities such as ice skating and tobogganing are in full swing, with the promise of warm hot chocolate waiting at home. This may be all great, but this is not what I’ll be discussing today.

My memory of winter ranges from nice, pre-holiday activities we all know and love to the dark, slush-filled streets we dread waking up to and unfortunately, it is the latter that seems to last forever. When the excitement of the holiday season dies down, the dark days of winter loom. The days that are grey and filled with trudging to school in sub-zero weather and with the pandemic forcing us indoors: winter never seems to end. In my experience, these are the hardest, longest, and often loneliest days of the year. I’m here to provide you with some helpful tips to get through these black dog days. Why am I qualified to present such tips and tricks you might be asking? Well, as a Canadian resident for the past 20 years of life, I have learned some things through the many days spent trying to avoid the cold. While I have changed over the years and I no longer live at home, these tips have remained true.

keep good company

our sister that lives down the hall, your roommates, or your parents talking on the phone, having people to talk to is vital. Not only is it good for your mental wellbeing to have a support system but human connection is inherently linked to happiness. When we feel isolated and alone, it becomes harder to do the things we need to do, so having people to talk to, even if it isn’t face-to-face, is super important.

try to cook or bake

I know that ordering in food is easy but give your bank account a break and cook at home for once. Cooking or baking are productive hobbies that help relieve stress and eating is necessary to live, so learning to cook is a survival skill. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant meal, it could be a grilled cheese sandwich, but as long as you are the one making it, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, plus food always tastes better when you make it yourself.

find a tv show that you love and can obsess over.

Then recruit roommates, family members, or friends to also obsess over it. Trust me, this is a fun one and sure-fire way to get through the dark days. Having something to look forward to at the end of the day motivates you to do the work you don’t want to do. By coercing friends to watch it too, you are able to make a night of it and discuss it weekly. So grab some snacks, sit on the couch with a cozy blanket and start Euphoria or any other show of your choosing.

is a cliché, but I promise if you try, it will help you: get active.

Now, before you turn off your screen and call me a hypocrite, getting active is a wonderful way to relieve stress and will improve your overall brain function — something that we all desperately need in our lives full of online classes. This doesn’t have to be weight lifting or cardio like you see on Instagram and Tik Tok, it can be a walk around the block, a dance party with your friends, or a yoga/pilates workout YouTube video. Personally, I’m partial to Just Dance. Not only is it a good workout but it brings back memories of the days before I was stressed about online school and pandemics.

This is the most important so read carefully: be gentle with yourself.

Show yourself the compassion you would to a friend or family member. The days are getting darker and our lives are not easy right now so being able to give yourself time to relax and wind down is important. At the end of the day, you are responsible for making sure you are alright. Nothing is more important than your own mental health and wellbeing, so show yourself the kindness you deserve.

With the recent snow dump, we’re beginning to feel trapped, both physically and mentally. These tips and tricks have helped me get through countless Canadian winters and can help you too. I know that winters can get rough and that it can feel really lonely, but know that there is always someone to talk to if you need. Spring and summer are right around the corner, so enjoy the cold while you must and know that warm weather is on its way.

Liv Sinclair

Wilfrid Laurier

I am a 2nd year political science student who enjoys writing and connecting with people. Writing has always been an important part of my life and I'm excited to be able to share my work with those who read it.
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