Ah, October. A month I once associated with Halloween and changing leaves...
Nope. Instead, October is a rather strange month. I sometimes like to think of it as the opposite of March (March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb). October comes in like a lamb, but goes out like a lion! Unfortunately, today marked the first day of snow. October has officially metamorphosed into its lion form. As someone who often feels isolated in a small town, here are some of my tips for staying sane in a place that considers this weather normal!
1. Stay Cool!
Horribly cheesy pun intended! Your gut instinct might be to run to the closest hilltop, unhinge your jaw (assuming that's a skill you possess), and let out a primal scream that would instill fear in the Norse gods. Yes. You did go there. What did this weather ever do for you. Sure the snow is GORGEOUS , as it glistens with every step you take. Sure, each and every flake that falls from the sky is unique... But after seeing snow day after day, knowing that there is no suitable skiing anywhere near you, the ninja-like snow flurries can drive a person insane! Don't fret, though...
2. Sweater/blanket weather
Everyone is always so hyped about sweater weather, but much like that forgotten relative everyone has, BLANKET weather deserves some props/recognition too! Sweaters are great, I'm not going to lie. But if you are like me, you constantly struggle between wearing too many layers, and wearing too few layers. Sure, the thermometer might read a brisk -15°F, but when your upper-body is adorned with a bra, a wife-beater, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, and a winter jacket on top of it all, life can get a little bit steamy, after you've walked anywhere. You might be thinking to yourself, "well why not just remove a layer?" Right. Because neither my peers nor I ever considered that notion. It seems like a swell idea, really. But in practice, it always ends up leading to epic failure (surprise wind attacks, for example). That's why I prefer appreciating blanket weather! Nothing makes me happier than cuddling up on the sofa with a few blankets wrapped around myself, cup of tea in hand. It's so relaxing, and it allows me to appreciate the snow and crazy weather from a safe distance.
3. Remember that your situation can change
On days like today, you might just want to do like Bianca Del Rio, and:
You might even take yourself on a tour of some of the earth's prettiest remote islands (on google earth/maps, of course!). But one solid fact remains: this situation is only temporary. Whether you hail from a nearby town or city, or you've flown twenty hours on an intercontinental flight, you can play a role in your destiny. I know that when I graduate, I am most likely headed somewhere sunny. That's a must for me. But the weather shouldn't be the only thing to which you look forward. I remember reading an article which said that the "happiest" people not only lived in areas that get decent solar radiation, but they also have access to cultural materials. I grew up going to the Met and the American Museum of Natural History. I love anything and everything museum-oriented. Some of my favorite museums, have been small, and have featured local history tidbits. Other people might find solace in live music, community events, etc. You just have to find your niche.
So there's snow in October. That's a thing. I can only encourage my peers (and myself) to embrace any and all positive aspects of this weather, even if they may seem rather insignificant. I also wanted to encourage folks to be especially vigilant, when it comes to mental health, during the winter. During this period, you may feel the effects of some illnesses more than you would in the summer months. I like to use a light therapy box to help combat the lack of sun exposure. Other people have different coping mechanisms. I cannot stress the importance of finding your niche. Also know that there are resources out there if you find yourself in need. So whether you are a hardened Erie resident who scoffs at the first flurries, or are a southern California native who feels the rush of adrenaline as the first snowflake hits your skin, remember: Stay cool, get layerin', and recall that this situation is likely to change!