Staying positive and productive during the winter season


The Catalyst / Molly Phan

The changes in weather and time during the winter can be difficult to adapt to.

On November 6, 2022 the majority of Americans observed their clocks “fall back” an hour to shift out of daylight saving time and back into standard time. With the annual time change comes the dreaded early sunsets and long, dark evenings. Although the weather in California is some of the best, we certainly still experience gloomy, cold and often rainy days during the winter season which can make it difficult to stay happy, healthy and productive. So, here are some ways to stay positive and motivated during the winter months.

Take advantage of the daylight, even if there is less of it. Spend as much time as possible in the sun, as Vitamin D is proven to boost energy. Staying active can also improve your mood, so go for a run or a walk, or practice your favorite sport outside.

The fall and winter months are home to many holidays, which can serve as reminders to be grateful for the people who love and support you. Visiting or calling a family member, friend or someone who means a lot to you can be helpful in upholding a positive mindset.

Cold weather marks the return of cold and flu season, and there is no feeling worse than being sick during a gloomy and depressing day. Thankfully, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us hundreds of ways to keep ourselves safe from the sicknesses that travel quickly. Wash your hands several times a day, especially before meals, and keep hand sanitizer accessible. Dress for warmth when outside and maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Stay hydrated, and do not be afraid to mask up when in crowded places.

Winter can also be incredibly stressful academically for us students. The workload has significantly increased since the semester is coming to an end, and finals are right
around the corner. For seniors, college application deadlines have had us swamped for the last few months, making the balance between homework and college essay writing difficult. However, the key to combating academic stress is to manage your time and prioritize self-care. Although it is difficult, establish a study routine in which you eliminate distractions but also set time aside to rest and rejuvenate.

Finally, the best way to take care of yourself during the winter is to prioritize your mental health. Changes in the time and weather have proven to affect the mental health of people around the globe, so do not invalidate your sadness or lack of motivation this winter. Instead, surround yourself with a support system, do not hesitate to access the mental health resources on campus and stay positive because spring is right around the corner.