Optimism Helps Beat the Winter Blues
It is that time of year again for most of us: it is cold. You are dreading getting out of the warmth of your bed to go to class. You go outside and it is well below freezing. There is not a bus to take you to your building so you walk for ten minutes in the arctic tundra that is your university campus. On top of that you have to deal with how difficult school is in general and other stresses that the life of a young adult provides. HOW WILL YOU DO IT? Better yet, could you possibly do it with a smile on your face? I am here to tell you that it can be possible using optimism.
How optimistic are you?
I have struggled deeply with being optimistic. If I looked at a pie graph of the percent of my time I spent complaining and being upset about something compared with the time I spent happy or grateful, I have to admit that it sometimes leans more on the negative side. I would hate to get to the end of my life and say that more than half of my awake life was spent having negative thoughts versus positive ones. That has been a wake up call for me.
Move toward optimism
Optimism is being hopeful about a successful outcome. Find ways to think positively in order to fend off the winter blues. If you are walking outside on campus, be glad you have an opportunity to go to school. If you are upset about the snow or freezing rain, be thankful that there is water to keep the plants growing.
Tips to beat the blues
Here are some tips for turning your cold-weather stresses into reasons you are blessed (sorry, I tried to rhyme):
- Reverse your thinking. For example, if you are upset about the cold, be glad it isn’t hot. If you are mad that there is class in the snow, be thankful that you are going to school in a snow globe.
- Make the most of your time indoors. Organize your desk. Clean out your backpack. Invite friends for indoor fun like a movie night or game night.
- Destress. There is active fun to be had outdoors even in the cold. Being active can help reduce stress. Have a snowball fight. Build an igloo. Do something.
To be honest, we are too easily selfish. We want more and take a lot for granted. Given that college is an “it’s all about me” stage in our lives, there is so much more to life than us. Why spend the winter months sad when there’s so much to be glad about? How do you beat the winter blues?