November 11, 2013

BETTER LIVING: 5 Ways to Keep Your Attitude Up as the Temperature Goes Down

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We all think of November in Ithaca as the beginning of a seemingly endless string of dreary and gray days, slowly pushing us closer to exam season. As the temperature declines, it’s easy to let our motivation, happiness level and spirit fall into the same icy state as the campus gorges. We’d rather lay in bed, warm, on a Saturday night than face the outdoors to try to meet up with friends. And walking to the library seems like a daunting task, knowing that when you come out it will be dark and freezing, and the wind will probably be blowing directly into your face no matter what direction you end up walking in. However, winter has so much to offer – and just a few little tips can spark your mood and transform this cold season from dreadful to cheerful.

1. Layer – Seriously, this is the easiest tip out there. Halloween has already passed, meaning you have no reason to wear practically nothing out at night. Fact: alcohol causes the blood vessels closer to your skin to dilate, making you feel warmer, but in turn causing your core body temperature to drop. So whether you are heading out to enjoy yourself or to the library, you will be infinitely happier when your body is not fighting to stay warm. Wear long johns. Wear them always, and under everything. Who cares if they aren’t super trendy; no one will see them and your long-john-less friend will envy you. Also, Uggs are not snow boots. Cold wet feet = unhappy person. Get some waterproof shoes.

2. Stay active – Once again, it’s easy to come home after a tiring day of classes and go straight for the nap. But exercise does wonders for our bodies, brains and mood levels. The walk to your closest CFC facility may seem dreadful, but refer to tip number one above to get yourself there. It’s also super important to stay healthy throughout the winter, because once you get sick the recovery is endless. No one wants to be that person with a runny nose during finals, coughing in the stacks. Stay active, stay healthy and keep those endorphins pumping!

3. Switch up your study location – We have a tendency to spend more time in the library in the winter, mainly because we want to limit our exposure outdoors. It’s easy to get in an Olin-slump where you dread the stacks, yet continuously return. But look around, there are over 15 libraries at Cornell, and even more buildings open late with awesome places to do work in. Use the coldness of the outside to explore the inside of buildings. In addition, studies prove that switching up your location sparks learning!

4. Find a cuddle buddy – Forget about a summer fling; winter is when real relationships begin. There’s nothing better than staying warm together, relaxing after a long day at the library and having companionship on these cold, dark days. Some even call it the season of love. Nights where all you want to do is make hot chocolate and curl up to watch a rom-com are so much better when you have someone to enjoy them with!

5. Treat yourself – in whichever way works for you. We have a tendency to grind extra hard in the winter and forget about the small sources of joy little things can bring us. Whether it be taking a long bath after a night at the library, sleeping in on a weekday, caving in to an impulsive Amazon buy or devouring a tasty treat, we all deserve something to look forward to. Rediscover what it is for you.