The Winter Has Been Weighing On Me

The Winter Has Been Weighing On Me

Sometimes, life is just hard.

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Sometimes with the winter blues and the stress of school, life can get to be very hard. The semester is well along and it seems like at least for myself I always have something to do. It's important to take care of yourself when your mental health is struggling.

Self-care can be glamorized by the Snapchats of face masks and bubble baths, but it can be even simpler than that. Taking a few minutes to meditate or stretch, getting outside in the sun for a while, or even getting your favorite scent of candle and lighting that nearby while you work.

For some regions, getting outside and sun are two things rendered impossible during these winter months. These winter months can be tough when the sun rarely comes out or it's below freezing. Some people might turn to tan beds to get some of that Vitamin D, but there are also lights you can buy on Amazon that give you artificial sunlight without the tanning process.

When you hear the word meditate, you may think sitting cross-leg on the floor humming with candles all around. When in reality, it can be as simple as closing your eyes at your desk and just focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. There's also plenty of playlists and music that you can play for a few minutes too to help calm you down while you focus on breathing. On Spotify, there is a lot of mediation playlists that play the kind of relaxing music that plays softly at spas and massage parlors. I listen to it when going down to sleep and it helps a lot.

There are so many different things you can do to step aside from the stress of life and take a moment for yourself. You would be surprised how beneficial it can be to just spend a few minutes on yourself. It gets hard, but it will go on and we will get through it. Spring is right around the corner, longer days and warmer temperatures.

Don't be afraid to talk to someone if you need it, sometimes it can help to bitch it out.

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Feeling Cold? It's All In Your Head

Hack Your Mind With These Tricks And Winter Just Might Become Your Favorite
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We were walking the chilly city with a bottle of wine as we made our way to enjoy a night of Friendsgiving. My friend Claudia looked at me and said, “Stop!” It took me a moment to realize what she was referring to. I immediately took a breath and let go. Earlier that week we discussed how we often romanticize the idea of feeling cold and concluded, just like all things, it’s merely a mental game. Feeling cold? Well, it’s all in your head. If you remember this, you'll beat the freeze.

Picture the way you shiver back to your parking spot from a night out. It's an uncomfortable moment as your shoulders creep toward your ears while your teeth chatter. This is your body’s immediate response to facing the cold. It’s a mindless and almost zombified response. Take a stab at recognizing these primal reactions, let them go, and respond to the cold on your own terms.

Realize where your mind is at

I didn’t notice I was shivering on our walk until Claudia pointed out. You feel cold because you promote it. You invite this feeling in with your mind and don't even realize it. When you’re in the heart of a cold night it might be hard to catch your reaction to the weather. It might help if you mentally prepare as you head out the door. Remind yourself that your body will react, but it is your mind that has the power to respond.

Relax your muscles

Shivering promotes temporary body heat by engaging our muscles. This is an instant physiological response. Once you notice this, stop and relax your muscles. You’ll instantly feel better. You’ll even notice that it’s not as cold as you might have believed it to be.

Breathe

We hold our breath in when we get cold. It’s part of the physiological response that makes us tense up such as having our shoulders to our ears and huddling over with our arms crossed. Holding your breath won’t solve the issue. This can also be viewed as a universal perspective when it comes to life. Breathe, release your shoulders, and go about your life. You’ll feel that much warmer.

Don't think about the temperature

Once you realize where your mind is at, relax, and breathe you’ll immediately forget about how cold it is. That feeling doesn’t come for free. You’ll find yourself enjoying your conversation as you walk, but as soon as you take it for granted the chills will come back. You don’t need to shiver in discomfort. Take your mind to the place it needs to be and continue to relax and breathe.

The world is a reflection of your own perception

Winter is a great metaphor for life in so many ways. Some say it is a period for rest and renewal to prepare for the rebirth of spring. I see it as a mental exercise. Sometimes winter appears in our lives when we least expect it. It’s up to us as to how we experience it.

Cover Image Credit: Inna Lesyk

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I Absolutely Hate Saying Goodbye To Cold Weather

Will a few more months of winter really be that bad?

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On Sunny days I dream of cold and on cold days I dream of cooler. It's funny because I'm not like your typical southern gal. Born and raised In Columbia, SC, but I feel like deep down I have always been a northerner at heart. I just love cold weather.

Fall is my favorite season of course. I mean, honestly, what can you not love about fall! There are the leave changes, crisp cool weather and the ever anticipated fall fashion haul. I get excited just thinking about it. Now, most of my family is from up north, was born in the north or practically believes the north to be their second home. And then there's me. The girl who absolutely adores cool weather but has yet to travel up North. Weird right?

As I say my final goodbyes to the last weeks hopefully of winter. I think to the memories where my children with effervescent spirits may one day be able to experience a white Christmas, slope the great white slopes, sit and drink mocha by the crackling sounds of holiday fires and warm fuzzy sweaters.

As I speak with my northern counterparts they would disagree. In most cases, they would advise me that wanting to move up North would be one of the worst things ever! They remind me of the constant snow plowing that they have to sort through, the rundown metro stations and the lack of consideration towards all of these things. A constant reminder that unlike down south where we experience one pinch of snow, we go through what seems like a full government shutdown.

This I may miss, but weighing out all of my options and exhausting all needs.. I will still not want to say goodbye to cold weather.

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