Winter Anxiety Is A Very Real Thing

Winter Anxiety Is A Very Real Thing

From parties to bad weather, there is a lot that can trigger your anxiety this season.

32
views

Baby, it's cold outside. And what does that mean for those of us with anxiety? A lot. Between the stress of the holidays, final exams, and being cooped inside because of the weather, we have a lot to be anxious about. But what can we do about it? Probably more than you think.

1. Simplify your holidays

Don't try to cram every holiday party and family event into your schedule. It's a crazy time of year and people understand when you are over-scheduled. Schedule some time alone. Find some downtime where you can lounge in your yoga pants with a good magazine. Put it on your calendar if you have to.

2. Prepare for your tests

It's possible you've already completed your exams but that's the thing about college—there will be more. There are some good tips for relieving test day anxiety and you should probably follow them. Remember that preparation is everything so don't try to cram. Eat and sleep well the night before, and take advantage of extra test time if your professor is understanding. Being honest with your teachers about your anxiety may lead to more time on the test, some strategies on how to best be prepared, or possibly some insight into what will be covered. Take advantage of those office hours!

3. Get outside

If you're not a skier, well, snow sucks. And if you are a skier but you live in Iowa, then you're not much farther ahead in the game. Exercise is always important. But if you have anxiety, exercise is crucial. It has been found to improve mood and sleep among many other benefits. Ice skating can be a fun winter excursion with friends, and sledding is always good for a laugh if you don't ski. Local rec centers often have tracks you can walk on. Ask a friend to join you—having a friend to commit to might give you the motivation to go.

4. Watch your social calendar

The holidays are infamous for over-commitment. For those of us with anxiety, social situations can be exhausting. Be good to yourself. Limit parties and high-energy social situations to three a week. If that exhausts you too much, make it two. Get plenty of rest before you go out and be sure to schedule alone time for yourself afterward to recharge.

5. Take your medication

It is not shameful to be on medication for anxiety. If you've been prescribed medication for your anxiety, take it! It won't help you if it's just sitting in your medicine cabinet unused. And if you don't take medication and are struggling, see a medical professional to discuss your options. There are many people with anxiety who say that medication is a game-changer. If you are against medication look into meditation and exercise. Some people swear that meditation is just as good as medication for treating anxiety. The important thing is to find a strategy that works for you.

Whatever you do this winter, be good to yourself. Take the necessary steps to treat your anxiety, limit your exposure to triggering events, and be kind to yourself. You can enjoy this winter if you're prepared.

Popular Right Now

What Losing Someone To Suicide Really Feels Like.

In Loving Memory of Andrew Allen Boykin (1997-2015)

13947
views

A word that describes what it feels like to lose someone to suicide? That doesn't exist. It's actually a whole jumbled up pool of emotions. Almost unbearable comes to mind, but that still doesn't quite cover it. You never think it'll happen to someone you know, much less a family member.

Let me start off by telling you about my experience. I was up late one night studying for a big nursing test I had the next morning. My phone started ringing, and I automatically assumed it was my boyfriend who knew I would still be up at midnight. It wasn't, though. It was my mother, who usually goes to bed before 10 every night. I knew something bad had happened.

"Mama, what's wrong?" I could hear her crying already. "Baby, Andrew shot himself," my mother then told me. I flooded her with questions. Where? Is he okay? Why was he playing around with a gun this late? What happened? She then said, "No, baby, he killed himself."

Disbelief

Disbelief was my first reaction. No, that couldn't be true. Not my Andrew. Not my 17-year-old, crazy, silly, cousin Andrew. Not the kid who eats sour Skittles while we walk through Walmart and then throws away the pack before we get to the register. Not the kid who, while we all lay in the floor in Grandma's living room, is constantly cracking jokes and telling us stories about how he's a real ladies' man. This can't be real. I'm gonna go home and it is all just gonna be a mix-up.

Confusion

It wasn't, though. I sat in the home of my grandparents, with the rest of my family, confused. We tried to go over what could have caused him to do it. Was it a girl? Did we do something wrong? He acted normal. Nothing seemed off, but I guess nobody will ever truly know.

Anger

For a minute there I was mad. How could he do this? Did he not know what this would do to everyone? So many people loved him. I just couldn't understand, but I wasn't Andrew. How could I understand?

Regret

Regret was my next feeling. Why didn't I do more? What could I have done? How did I not notice he was hurting so bad? There wasn't anyone who knew, though. For the longest time, I told myself that I should have texted him more or just made sure he knew I loved him. In the end, I always realize that there wasn't anything I could have done and that he knew I loved him.

Pain

The funeral was almost insufferable. A church filled with people who loved Andrew. People that would never get to see him or hear his laugh again. The casket was closed and the whole time all I could think about was how I just wanted to hold his hand one last time. My brother, who spent almost every weekend with Andrew since they were little, didn't even want to go inside. They were only a year and a half apart. At one point he just fell to the ground in tears. This kind of pain is the heart-breaking kind. The pain of picking a 15-year-old off the ground when he hurts so bad he can't even go on anymore.


Heartache

This led to heartache. I thought so much about how his life was way too short. He would never get to graduate high school or go to college. He would never get his first grown-up job. He'd never get married or have children. Dwelling on these thoughts did some major damage to my heart. We missed him. We wanted him back, but we could never go back to how things were.

Numbness

For a while after, I could honestly say I was numb. It had hurt so much I think my body shut down for a little while. That disbelief would pop up again and I would forget it was real. I'd try to block out the reminders but that doesn't really work. Every time I see sour Skittles I think about him, or wear this certain pair of earrings he'd always try to get me to give him.

Longing

This past week marked a whole year since he passed away. What am I feeling now? Still all of these things plus a little more. Longing is a good word. I miss him every day and wish so much that he was still here with us. I'll see little reminders of him and smile or laugh. We had so many good memories, and I could never forget those or him. That's what I cling to now. That was my Andrew.


In Loving Memory of Andrew Allen Boykin (1997-2015)

"If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

12 Activities To Do On Your Next College Snow Day

Did someone say no school?

36
views

Coming down to Virginia from Massachusetts for college, I've definitely noticed some differences when it comes to snow days. Growing up in a school system where the Superintendent was from Maine, we rarely had snow days. It had to be bad, like REALLY BAD weather for school to be canceled. I never got my hopes up because we always seemed to be one of the only towns in the area whose schools were still open even when there was a Nor'easter coming our way. Besides, no one wanted to add extra days to the school calendar in June when the weather was beautiful.

Now that I'm in college, I look forward to even the slightest chance of a snow day. Since we have significantly less days off from school, the thought of having a snow day is like a dream come true. If you're lucky enough to have understanding professors, you won't have to make classes up either. I find myself constantly refreshing the Accuweather app on my phone to see the updates and snow predictions. I've found that there's definitely more of a possibility of having a snow day being at school in Virginia.

So, if you're looking for some things to do when you have the whole day free, here are 12 activities to do on your next college snow day.

1. Stay in your pajamas all day and make brunch with your roommates or significant other

Source

You might not have understood why your parents loved the opportunity to stay in their pajamas all day when they didn't have to work, but you definitely do now. It's one of the best feelings when you have the opportunity to be lazy all day and stay comfy in your PJs. Also, brunch?!? Absolutely yes.

2. Movie Marathon/Netflix or Hulu binge

There's no better feeling than knowing that the only list you have to complete is the list of movies or episodes you're planning on watching throughout the day.

3. Get ahead on some work

If you've guilted yourself into being a good student on your day off, you might choose to get ahead on some work so you're not stressed or overwhelmed in the following days.

4. Go sledding

Source

Bring back those childhood days of getting out your sled and getting all bundled up to go outside.

5. Cook up some yummy snacks

If you don't have time to cook during the week, now is the perfect time to whip up a yummy snack or treat that you actually have time to spend doing.

6. Get your booze on

To many, snow day=day drinkin'

7. Sleep!

It's the perfect opportunity to catch up on a semester's worth of sleep all in one day.

8. Play board games

Source

"Cards Against Humanity" anyone?

9. Have a photo shoot

What's a snow day without some pics of you enjoying it?

10. Order takeout

Chinese food takeout anyone?

11. Have a snowball fight

Bring back the old days with a friendly fight.

12. Have a spa day

Take the day to pamper yourself. You deserve it.

Enjoy the free day, who knows when the next will come.

Related Content

Facebook Comments