8 Ways to Mentally and Physically Prepare for Winter

Let’s face it, winter is upon us. That first snow before Halloween really solidified that the cold is coming. Every year, the winter weather hits me like a ton of bricks. Winter is a time where I’d rather hang out under my covers and binge watch Schitt’s Creek for the fourth time than head to class in a parka plus many layers. After two years of being a downer about the winter months, I decided it’s about time that I be both mentally and physically prepared for the cold weather and seasonal depression. Below, I have listed my ways to be mentally and physically prepared for winter.

  1. 1. Take a walk or bike ride 

    Before the pavement becomes unbearably slippery, take a nice walk to clear your head and be one with nature. Enjoy the last of the colorful leaves as you go on a stroll or a nice bike ride. The fresh air does wonders for your happiness and well-being, especially when you are cooped up studying all day.

  2. 2. Invest in some hot chocolate and tea 

    Getting sick normally comes with the territory of a weather change. Sooth your throat with a nice cup of cocoa or tea. The warmth of the drink will not only sooth your throat but taste delicious too. Instead of constantly going to Starbucks or Colectivo during the cold months, go out and buy some hot chocolate packets and tea bags (or tea leaves and a tea infuser). Your wallet and throat will thank you later.

  3. 3. Cuddle up with a cozy blanket, robe or Snuggie 

    Being cozy is key during the winter. Sometimes I like to wear my robe and cuddle up under my blanket just to feel extra cozy. Grab your blanket, your robe or even your Snuggie and just chill around your place staying nice and toasty.

  4. 4. Find your favorite comfy clothing 

    Wearing comfortable clothes is a must when the weather gets cold. I personally love fuzzy socks and wear them whenever I can. Decide on your few favorite comfy clothing items, and wear them whenever you are feeling down. 

  5. 5. Clean your space and organize 

    As the winter starts approaching, we often get into a slump and don’t feel like cleaning up or being productive. In college, it’s even harder to find time to clean with all of the activities, exams and classes going on. While there may not be time to dust off every surface, doing a basic cleaning will not only clean your space, but also help you clear your mind. Recycle any random sheets of paper from classes, throw away those old granola bar wrappers in your backpack and maybe even do a load of laundry. 

  6. 6. Decorate your room 

    With winter often comes seasonal depression. This means that you should be surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy. An easy way to do this is decorating your room with things that make you happy, like holiday decorations or photographs of friends and family. 

  7. 7. Take a "you" day 

    Sometimes you just need to forget about the weather and everything on your plate and take time for yourself. Put on a face mask, braid your hair, paint your nails or do some stretches — whatever makes you happy. Set aside some time for yourself to relax; take a deep breath and calm down.

  8. 8. Prioritize mental health 

    If the weather isn’t the only thing bringing you down, seek out someone to talk to. UHS has free mental health services available for students, although making an appointment can sometimes be difficult. If you can’t get an appointment at UHS, don’t give up; reach out to a friend, a family member or maybe even your professor or TA if you feel comfortable talking to them. Talking with someone might even help you discover things you didn’t even realize were bothering you.

With these ways to prepare for winter both mentally and physically in mind, I hope that you stay comfy, cozy and calm as the cold weather approaches.