How to Beat the Winter Blues

by Molly Scott

We feel you Mr. Snowman.

Sad that the joy and freedom of winter break is over? Can’t take the dreary and cold conditions of New York in the middle of January? We get it. For your mental well being it’s important to find some excitement and happiness during these winter months. That’s why we’ve created these ideas for how to beat the notorious winter blues.

Find ways to enjoy the season! Yes it’s cold out, but that means it’s the perfect time to go ice skating and enjoy some hot chocolate while strolling through Central Park! Since the holiday season is over, the tourist crowds have died down which means little to no lines at ice skating destinations. Snow day? Grab some friends, head to Riverside or Central Park, and enjoy the beautiful scenery (or have a snowball fight).

Go outside! It’s tempting to just bundle up and stay inside your room, but going outside and getting some sun exposure will help with your mood, health, and outlook during colder months. Going for a walk or jog is a great way to get both exercise and some sun; at the very least, don’t take the tunnels to every class.

Exercise! This seems to be the answer for everything, but it’s true. Raising your heart rate will boost your mood and can help blast away your winter blues. If it’s too cold outside, try Dodge or the Barnard track (above the basketball court in LeFrak). Exercise will not only help improve your mood, it’s also a way to stay sane, a great study break, and a way to help your body stay healthy.

Buy a plant or flowers. This sounds odd, but it works! Having something that grows in your room is a great way to connect to nature, which is hard to do in the city. Buying some flowers every once in a while is a nice way to brighten up your room, which can elevate the way you feel.

Reorganize your desk and closet. Get an early start on your spring-cleaning and re-arrange, organize, and clean your room. It will give you a fresh start to the semester and will improve the way you see your space (what little you have of it). Having a clean area to do work will help you focus and can minimize distractions. Having a neat closet will allow you to see what you actually have and you’ll get better use out of your clothing.

Head to a museum! Since it’s so cold outside, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the indoor wonders of NYC. Take a study break and head to a museum or gallery you’ve been wanting to visit.

Plan your spring break. Need something to look forward to in order to get out of your winter funk? Plan some fun activities for spring break (March 15 to 23) and start a countdown on your calendar. It’ll keep you staying positive during these cold months.

Molly Scott is a junior at Barnard and Senior Editor of The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of Paul the Counsellor.

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