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On Surviving Winter and Maintaining Your Happiness

November 28, 2016
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by Christie Marfia

A quick side note before I begin – I was originally going to wait until next semester to write any winter-related posts, mostly because the weather has been so uncharacteristically warm in late October and November. Yet, this past weekend we’ve gotten some rogue snowfall, so I guess now is as good a time as ever to write this post and discuss self-care in the winter months!

So, let’s face it – cold weather can be hard on all of us. Purchase’s campus has numerous resources to get us by – four eateries (all of which have hot chocolate for those snowy winter days), a warm library to get work done in when you don’t have to be in your res hall or apartment, the Stood (our student center with comfy couches and campus events galore), and the company of your best buds. Snowfall is beautiful, the holiday season is in the air, and the New Year is around the corner. This being said, days can tend to drag, especially because of the unwelcoming biting cold that awaits outside. Preserving your self-care routine can also get tricky in the winter, especially because so many campus resources can tend to be overlooked in the winter months. Here are 7 tips to raise your spirits (and perhaps temperature, ha):

  1. Take the Purchase Loop. The loop is an amazing (and free!) shuttle service, one that is so helpful when you don’t have a car on campus. There is a world of possibilities! Take the loop into White Plains or Port Chester and you have access to grocery stores (food and hot chocolate!), movie theatres, restaurants, and a Metro North train station! Sometimes it’s nice to get off campus with your friends and remind yourself that there’s another world out there. Get warm inside of some coffee shops without your fingers freezing off. Amazing!
  2. Utilize nature. Most people forget that our campus consists of 500+ acres of land. Although a small portion of the land is used for our academic buildings and res halls, our woods have an incredible amount of cool things! Take a look around the sculpture garden, check out the dunes, or hang out on the couches or the swings! Exploring your campus is the best way to get to know your surroundings and your environment, and Purchase’s woods are too beautiful not to explore. There’s also lots of off-campus hiking options for the days you’d like to adventure somewhere new, like Cranberry Lake Preserve, Rye Marshlands Conservancy, and even Bear Mountain. Hiking gets your blood pumping, and we all know the real goal here is warmth. And hot chocolate.
  3. Redecorate. It’s easy to feel stuck when you’re in the same room for two whole semesters. Redecorate your room, move around pictures on the wall, add some new additions, and if your roommate is cool with it (assuming you’re not in a single), even move around some furniture. Sometimes all you need is a fresh outlook and a new environment.
  4. Attend club meetings and get involved. It’s easy to convince yourself that staying inside is the best (and only) option in the winter. Get yourself out of your room and experience the multitude of clubs and organizations that the campus has to offer. It’s nice to feel part of the campus community, and participating in these activities can help you feel less overwhelmed! You could spend your afternoons and nights laying on the couches in the Stood, getting work done in the library, and stopping into some fun events to support your peers. On your walk out from the warmth of your res hall and into the cold wintery wonderland on your journey to an event, you could even take a FUN snowy selfie.
  5. Keep track of events. The Stood is the biggest place for on-campus events to happen. This is our student center that’s entirely student run and open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day! The best way to keep track of the events that happen is on Facebook! Although there are almost always fliers around the bulletin boards on campus, event pages are made for most things and they always include details, so keep your eyes peeled! Like I mentioned before, music performances, raffles, poetry readings, standup nights, and art shows are some of the coolest parts of campus, and making new friends and getting out of your comfort zone can only take you higher in the universe. For college-sponsored events, check out the new free Purchase app. Search for “Guidebook” in your app store and after you’ve downloaded it, search for Purchase College.
  6. Take time for yourself. The weather always has the potential to make everything seem magnified, good or bad (depending on the season). Winter generally makes people feel stuck, overwhelmed, and literally/metaphorically cold. With classes, homework, jobs, internships, meetings, events, clubs, and any other obligations students have, it’s easy to feel a huge weight on your shoulders. Take a step back from everything and take a few days for yourself. Self-care is important, especially at school! Your mental health always comes first so don’t overlook that. Let yourself do what feels best, and if that means letting yourself be alone to do so, then so be it. Taking time for yourself allows other situations to be as pleasurable as possible.
  7. Netflix. And with that said, sometimes staying in bed with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watching every season of Parks and Rec (…or The Office or Black Mirror…) on Netflix (for the seventh time) is the best way to beat the winter blues.