Don’t be a “Debbie Downer,” Learn to Love Living in a Winter Wonderland

During these harsh winter months, it’s safe to say that people often find themselves wishing the days away. Contentment can sometimes depend on the weather, which is something that only Mother Nature has control of. Let’s be honest, after Santa Claus comes to town everyone just wants to fast forward to spring break. By then people have had enough of winter and they simply want it to go bye-bye. Nobody likes a bearer of bad news, but it’s time to face the facts, we live in the Twin Cities. Thus, this weather isn’t going away for a long, long, very long time. So what should you do, you ask? Well the answer to this question is rather simple. Your happiness shouldn’t be dependent on something else,  for it has often been said that waiting for something else to make you happy is the best way to stay sad. Therefore, you must all learn to create your own happiness in the midst of this cold winter season.

Tips that will help you stay healthy AND happy this season:


 There’s little sun, but you’re still gonna shine. In June, the sun shines approximately 15 hours a day, but in the month of December it only exposes itself for about 9. And, while the sun is shining high in the sky, most of you are busy sitting in a classroom. Meaning, unless you’re a bird who wakes up early to catch your worm (aka someone who only has morning classes), you hardly get to see it. Believe it or not, this can take its toll on you. Being exposed to less sunlight means that your body is lacking vitamin D. In order to compensate for this, try either A) implementing more fish into your diet, or B) taking capsules that contain fish oil. Multi-vitamins are also a wise purchase due to the fact that most people tend to consume less fruits and veggies (which are what supplies most bodies with their daily dose of needed vitamins) during the winter months.

H20 is the way to go! Lower humidity levels dry out your skin, and the mucus membranes of your nose, throat, and lungs, according to Natural Solutions Radio. This can leave one feeling uncomfortable and even sickly. And, let’s not forget that it is flu season, which only makes matters worse. Drink plenty of water. Lots and lots of water. Remember Gophers, on average you should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day.

Don’t catch the flu, catch the love bug. According to the article, “How to be Happier in January than in July“, as the number of daylight hours decreases, the pineal gland amps up its production of melatonin. This leaves people feeling drowsy and ready for nap time, proving that your bed really does become more tempting during this time of year. Despite the fact that it is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, there’s no need to sleep your life away. Instead, if you feel like relaxing, try inviting your crush over to watch a new flick or to play your favorite board game. This leap of faith is recommended because the region of the brain that stimulates the release of  steroid hormones (the hypothalamus) is sensitive to both light and circadian rhythms, according to the article. This then causes testosterone levels to increase slightly during the winter months. As also discussed in this article, men and women often start to date seriously right now and over the next couple of months. Meeting Mr./Mrs. Right can bring happiness… even if there is still snow on the ground.

Embrace your social butterfly. Come wintertime it seems like everyone’s holing up. Some college kids are in total hibernation mode right now. Why be productive when could spend your time shamelessly bingeing on Netflix instead? A social life?! Ha! Who has one of those anymore? Staying social helps one stay happy. As young adults, social interaction is important and it is something that should be implemented into daily life.

Cocoa Cures all! This steamy
beverage is not only rich in chocolate, but it is also rich in chemicals that enhance dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that elevates one’s mood, according to How to be Happier in January than in July. Also, flavonols are compounds found in hot chocolate that increase  cerebral blood flow and brain activity. So what does that mean? It means sipping on some yummy hot chocolate just might put a smile on your face and make you more productive when it comes time to hit the books.

Bundle up, buttercup. Wearing various layers of clothing will help trap in your body’s heat. By doing this, your body won’t be able to lose heat, meaning that you’ll remain oh-so-toasty-warm throughout the day.

Work it out. Being physically active gets your blood pumping and heats up your skin.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which boost your mood and leaves you feelin’ mighty fine.

Try some of these tips out for yourself and see if they do the trick! Oh and remember, there is beauty in all things (even winter!), one just has to be willing to see it. Gophers, if you want to be happy this season, be.

Photo credit: Frozen Forest

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