The air is getting crisp, there are fewer seagulls bothering you while you’re about in the city and we’ve all swapped the ice lattes for a steaming hot cappuccino. This can only mean one thing: winter is coming. That, or the ice lattes are not trending on Instagram anymore and the government didn’t only own pigeons but also seagulls and decided to send them all to England to spy on them. But since it’s getting very cold winter seems more likely. There are a few ways you can prepare for the upcoming winter months.
It is important to stay warm and maintain good blood circulation while studying. Of course, you can switch out the tracksuit for joggers and start wearing a big jumper or even a onesie. Instead, I would recommend going for layers. This way you can take something off when you enter a room with heating and put another layer on when you’ve been sitting down studying for a while and it starts getting cold. While you’re studying, try to keep your hands warm by doing some finger exercises in between studying. Especially when writing or typing a lot it is important to focus on keeping your hands warm. In addition to this, try to schedule a break halfway through the day where you meet up with a friend and go on a coffee walk. Getting a hot beverage and walking outside will make your body feel all warmed up when you go back inside to continue studying. Besides, even on the busiest days, it’s good to make time to speak with a friend.
I get it, it is very, very tempting to start playing Christmas music everywhere you go. And I’m sorry to be saying this, but it is still too early. If you start playing it now, you and everyone around you (your friends, classmates, co-workers,.. ) will get sick of it (and you) before December even begins. Instead, opt for instrumental music with bells and a warm jazzy sound and gradually build this up towards Christmas music. Any Spotify list with the words ‘winter instrumental’ in the title will do. Other things that you can do to keep cosy are: drinking a lot of tea, planning film marathons (and boardgame nights!) with housemates or friends and baking a cake every once in a while. Even if it’s straight from a package and you only need to add one egg and a bit of water. The smell of a cake in the oven and the taste of a freshly baked goods will bring warmth to your heart, even on the coldest of days.
Battle the Darkness
When it starts getting darker outside, it’s not uncommon for depression rates to go up. Make sure to be prepared for the days ahead. Don’t let the cold stop you from going outside. Go get that vitamin D. And remember, in the darkest of days light shines bright. I’m not sure if that is an actual saying, but Christmas lights sure look amazing in the evenings. Stroll around the city centre at night and just look around you. There’s already so much to see. And to start battling the darkness inside; start planning fun things to do during the winter months. Don’t look at summer destinations, try to stick to something in the near future. Look up fun Christmas markets or plan a day trip by train to a small town near Dublin. Or even a weekend trip to Galway. Find enjoyable things to do with fun people – and even if your friends are not up for it, just go alone! Why wait for others to create your happiness?
You won’t get joy from high energy bills trying to heat up your terribly isolated room. So my suggestion would be to study at a University building when possible. And to create a bit of joy around you, start sending Christmas cards to family members. I know, super old fashioned. But it is very nice to get something in the mail knowing someone thought of you and made the effort of putting something on paper. Don’t send too many though, we’re still broke students and shipping a piece of paper apparently costs more than buying a year’s worth of clothes from Wish.
When it’s finally time for Christmas and you’re surrounded by family asking when you’re finally going to finish that bachelor’s degree, keep up the cheer. Put yourself up as the star on the Christmas tree because you áre a star and you deserve to shine. Don’t let the winter gloom get you down. Start chasing goals before the 1st of January, don’t wait on anything or anyone. You got this. Let’s make the coldest months of the year the most heartwarming.