By Emily Varno
Any last hint of warm weather is officially long-gone, and I can sense winter looming on the horizon like a great monster, rearing its great ugly head ready to pounce.
I used to enjoy winter. I don’t know why. Probably because when I was younger I enjoyed going outside to sled, make snow forts, and have snowball fights with my little brother. I didn’t mind being soaking wet and freezing because I could just go inside, change, curl up in a blanket with hot chocolate and watch Harry Potter.
Furthermore, I didn’t have to drive or walk to class in the inches of snow; I didn’t have to wake up when it’s practically still pitch-black out to get ready for early work shifts or classes; and I didn’t have to worry about my car potentially not starting, or not being able to get it out of my steep driveway.
Those were the days.
Now, however, I do have to worry about all that; and I think that’s why I abruptly began hating winter so much, living in a perpetual bad mood for six straight months.
But what’s the point of being that miserable just because it’s cold and snowy and dark? Here are some things that, for me at least, make winter a little more bearable.
Winter is beautiful, I can’t deny it. It’s bright, sparkly, and so peacefully silent with every critter either hibernating or having flown south. Go outside and take a deep breath, feel the sharp inhale in your lungs as you look around and watch the sunlight dance on the glittering surface. Take a walk; let it invigorate you. Take pictures of the beautiful scenery. Though shoveling and cleaning your car off is more than irritating, there’s still nothing like waking up and seeing everything covered with a thick layer of fresh snow. Nothing wrong with a cancelled class or two either.
The holidays are a major highlight of winter as well. Everything is elaborately decorated, everyone is making good food, everyone is happy. It’s easy to forget the mountains of snow and face-biting wind outside when you’re in your warm house and there’s food cooking, music playing, and you’re surrounded by family. And anyway, what are the holidays in New England without snow?
There’s no doubt that walking to class in the snow and fierce wind is anything but fun. I’m a commuter and usually have to park far away, especially in the winter when all the closer parking spots are taken. Stepping out of my warm car and into the bitter air is like a smack in the face, and practically nothing would feel better than to just crawl into my bed in a cocoon of blankets and never leave.
But seeing as that’s not an option, there are a few things I do to make the walk a little less painful. First off, boots are my best friend. There’s nothing like a good pair of boots (and fuzzy socks!) to make walking in the cold just a little less frustrating. This also goes for gloves, scarves, and a big jacket. Bundling up and plugging my headphones in is the perfect way to not be completely ticked off about walking fifteen minutes to class every day when it’s below freezing. A nice cup of hot chocolate doesn’t hurt either…
Another thing I really find helpful during the winter is to just keep moving. I like to go to the gym and work out, do yoga, go for a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air; anything that gets the blood flowing. I think the number one thing most people want to do in the winter is just curl up for hours and not move. I’m certainly guilty of it. But when I get up and get my body moving in some way, it makes me feel more productive, and a whole lot happier.
The last thing I like to do in the winter to make it a little more bearable is to take it head-on and revisit my childhood – walking outside in the snow, building a snowman or a fort, having a snowball fight, making snow angels. It’s something that’s going to inevitably happen every year, we might as well make it fun, right?