5 TIps On How To Handle Winter Anxiety

Winter Anxiety Is A Very Real Thing

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

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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.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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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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