I have lived my whole life in Minnesota, and I can tell you that our winters aren't pretty. As years go on and global warming becomes more of a threat, our winters aren't bad because of snow but because of the below zero temperatures. It gets really really cold, unbearably cold. Usually, when I was younger and in school my family would go on vacation during spring break usually to Florida or somewhere else warm. Now as an adult, and as someone who doesn't go to college or have a spring break anymore, I'm realizing how important it is to still retreat to somewhere warm.

Ever since graduating from high school in 2016, I have visited my grandma in Florida every year; I will usually go sometime between February and April. When I take a week or two to just get away somewhere warm during the middle of winter, it changes my mood and mental state drastically. Seasonal depression is real and not being around plants, in high temperatures, or being able to swim really affects my mind. Having a break to get away somewhere warm is a way of reassuring myself that it will eventually get warm again, just not until May.

This is my first year where I'm paying rent every month, so my budget isn't the same that it has been in previous years. I have to manage my money well so that I can go on trips if I want to. As far as I knew, I wasn't planning on going to Florida this year because I wanted to save my money for different trips. But once January came and it started to get colder, I realized that I had to still go. My mind was fixated on summer and warmer weather and I knew that it wasn't going to think about anything else. Luckily, I got a ticket for a good price and was able to make it happen.

Usually in January is when I start to get a little restless about the winter. I only like winter for Christmas because I like having snow, but lately in Minnesota snow doesn't arrive until later months. So once January comes, I'm ready for spring and summer. I find it hard to enjoy this beginning part of the year because of how cold it is all the time, and how I spend most of my time thinking about how awesome summer is going to be (even though it's 5 months away).

Going away for a week or so is a recharge for my brain. I get the sun and plants I need, my mind gets clear, and I come back recharged and ready to take on the rest of winter. Usually, when I go somewhere warm, I get creative and come up with good ideas for projects or things I want to do when I come back. This can help me a lot in the winter so that I can push through some things that I would be putting off.

If you can, try to really budget in time to go on vacations, even if they're small ones. Our mental health is the most important thing we have, but we forget about it sometimes. If you can't afford to go somewhere or take time off of work, try finding a local conservatory that you can go to weekly to be around plants. We need time to recharge when our brains are going a little stir crazy and start to procrastinate everything. Sometimes the best cure for that is just soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere.