Ask the Weekly with Colleen Loranger

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Lately I just feel super unmotivated to do anything, in class or outside of class. I think this cold weather starts to bring down my mood. Any good ideas for how I can perk up again despite the cold?

As the weather starts to change, we all get a bit lackluster. Trying to “perk up” is a lovely way of tending to the winter blues. You’ve outlined two problems here: feeling unmotivated and having an overall poor mood. Are these things correlated? Your professed lack of motivation troubles me, as it speaks to a more serious issue. I wonder if you might examine the other stressors in your life to make sure there is not another factor making you feel down.

Also, many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and if you think this might be you, I recommend speaking to a doctor for more specific therapy techniques. Otherwise, enjoy these seasonal tips:

Practicing self-care can be a challenge in the colder months. It’s hard to take care of our bodies and souls when the days are short and the cold unbearable. In light of this, I’ll share some basic tips I’ve picked up.

Cocoa butter is very moisturizing for exposed skin (seriously, it’s the best). Comfort is often contingent on accessories like hats, and if you are able, a little physical activity can get the blood flowing and generate some internal warmth. While temperatures are still in the positive range, try bundling up and going for a walk down Summit Avenue. When it gets cold, it’s hard to leave your house or dorm. But spending time outside can have a grand effect on your mood.

I think one of the reasons winters can be so lovely at Mac is everyone endures the cold together. The campus buildings get cozy and full, and the effect is rather conducive to community building. Make a conscious effort to reach out to friends for support (and commiseration) in these cold months, and perhaps the winter will be a bit more bearable.