Surviving in the cold

Five tips for being happy when you're freezing and miserable

If you’re one of those people who love winter, I envy you. For the rest of us, it’s a constant battle to leave our beds and almost ritualistic morning exclamations of “holy crap, I hate Michigan. I can’t live here anymore. I just can’t. I’m moving to Florida.” Too bad we can’t actually do that.

Between the inescapable cold and the suffocating crush of school, these upcoming months can be a horrific stretch. Lacking wishes and witchcraft, we can’t make Big Rapids any warmer, but there are some small things you can do to spare yourself some suffering this winter.

1. Take vitamin D supplements. Because going outside was absolutely miserable last year, my suitemate and I avoided it at all costs. A lack of the outdoors resulted in a deficit in vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” and we got pretty sad. According to Psychology Today, low levels of vitamin D contribute to wintertime depression and seasonal affective disorder. Even the acronym is SAD. So go to Walgreens or Rite Aid, and get some supplements.

2. Force yourself to get out of bed. When you’re snuggled up in your bed and you feel like a big toasty cinnamon bun, getting out to go do something is nearly impossible. Make yourself. Exercise some willpower, or else the only interaction you’re going to have is with the characters in that Netflix series you’re binging. Soon, you’ll be as loony as
the entirety of BoJack Horseman.

3. Have something small to look forward to. Enjoy the little things that brighten your day. An example: if you really need to go to the library to study but are absolutely dreading the walk there, reward yourself by getting hot chocolate or coffee once you get there. I did that countless times last year, and even if I spent way more money than I should have, it was worth it.

4. Go to the gym. Yeah yeah, I know you’ve all heard it before. Exercising releases endorphins, which make you happy and so on and so forth. Well, it’s true! You think people just say that to trick others into working out? Seriously, unwrap yourself from your blanket burrito and go run some laps at the Rec. Then treat yourself to a long, hot shower and some more cuddling with your bed.

5. Find the pros of winter. Uggs are warm. Caramel Macchiatos are toasty and delicious. Having a decently sized collection of cute hats, scarves and gloves really is a game changer. Take a picture of the glistening snow and put it on Instagram with the caption “#wintertime #blessed.” Those are all pretty basic behaviors, but if it makes you happy, who cares? It’s better than being a cynical Scrooge all season.