In much of the US right now, the temperature is dipping quickly. I live in Wisconsin, and the first whispers of snow are reaching my ears while my daily commute to and from class becomes colder and colder.
The cold is a problem for nearly everybody – from transportation difficulties to illness complications to the natural human urge to not want to get out from under your warm blanket, it seems everybody has a bit of a harder time at this point in the year.
Nevertheless, there are things that can be done to make the cold a bit more bearable.
This is a common class of problems that nearly everyone experiences as winter encroaches. Consider the following troubleshooting tips if you’re struggling with getting to where you need to go:
- Is there anybody you can ask for a ride if you need it? Whether you miss your bus, your own car breaks down, or walking becomes impossible, it’s always a good idea in these months to have a backup plan. Even just backup plan money for an Uber or Lyft is better than nothing.
- Consider ways to increase your traction on the ice. If you drive or walk, try to be mindful of which routes are more likely to be well plowed and salted.
- If you rely on mobility equipment to get around, do some research on how to weather-proof your specific equipment, especially if you’re relatively new to using it.
- If transportation difficulties are a common problem for you, consider reaching out to your instructors about it. Even those that are usually strict about attendance might be willing to make some allowances if you communicate with them early.
- If you don’t have any particular difficulties per se, but putting up with the cold is a miserable affair for you, consider the means by which you’re staying warm. If any of your winter gear is of a texture that bothers you or isn’t warm enough, it’s natural that you wouldn’t want to use it – if you can, replace it. If you can’t, see if you can make it a bit more bearable (ie sewing up any holes, wearing rubber gloves under your regular winter gloves)
Can’t Get Out of Bed (Depression)
Those with mood disorders will likely be hit hard by the change in season, especially those with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and consider the following:
- Is there anybody you can lean on when you have a bad day? For example, if you can’t make it to class consistently, knowing there’s someone you can get the notes from can make a huge difference in your stress levels, which can ultimately help rescue your day.
- Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule, with routines/rituals when you go to bed and wake up. Establishing a habit is easier said than done, but this can ultimately make getting out of bed in the morning easier.
- Consider getting a sun lamp and/or vitamin D supplements. A lot of the reason that winter makes depression worse is because of the lack of sunlight and vitamin D that goes along with it.
Can’t Get Out of Bed (Laziness)
Sometimes there’s no real reason for your aversion to the cold, but you need to deal with it anyway. But “suck it up and deal with it” is a philosophy, not a piece of advice, so here’s some more tangible suggestions:
- Consider rewarding yourself for the things you dislike putting up with, or soothing yourself while you do them. Something as simple as listening to music or a good podcast during a sucky commute can make all the difference in the world. And it helps you not focus on your grumpiness, too.
- If you get too cold when you get out from under your blanket, try to find ways to make this process easier. Get out of bed slowly, have a yummy warm breakfast to look forward to, even try to get up early so you can do something fun before properly starting your day. The possibilities are endless.
Regardless of your individual issues with the cold, there are always ways to troubleshoot your problems. As always, best of luck, and I believe in you.