The fall semester is rapidly coming to a halt, just like the fall weather has already done. The cold December weather has finally crept up on us, leaving any signs of anything over 50 degrees a distant memory. It is quite apparent that people tend to be more depressed and all around grumpier in the winter.
According to Web MD, those who face seasonal depression feel better when exposed to more light. Because the sun now sets around 5 pm, you may feel like the night just drags on. Between the cold run from the house to the car, scrambling to put on the heat, and having to walk around campus in below freezing temperatures, wintertime sadness is inevitable. During winter you are more prone to miss out on outdoor adventures, so you should make the most of your time indoors and fight off those winter blues. Here are a few ways in which you can do so.
Start scrapbooking. With social media sites taking over, almost all photographs are online. What happened to Kodak moments? Keeping track of your life on paper and printing out your most important memories could have a greater effect on you later in life. Sure, the Internet is awesome, but having a book full of memories to show your kids one day is pretty cool too. Be old fashioned. Stop refreshing your Facebook and Pinterest out of boredom, go get some scrap book crafts and begin your project. You’ll be both surprised and impressed at your creative ability.
Another way to enjoy the cold months ahead is to have a dinner party. If you want to be creative, make holiday themed invitations and pass them out to your friends. Suggest a dress code, whether it be dressy or casual, so that guests will stick to the theme of the night. If you live off campus, host a get together and make it pot luck style. This way, you won’t be stuck cooking everything and everyone can bring a different dish to the table. This is a great alternative to going out to dinner, and you won’t have to worry about the expensive prices and tip! It is also a simple way to have a mellow yet enjoyable night, which is perfect since finals are coming up.
Junior psychology major, Lindsey Pieschl, enjoys cooking with friends. She said, “I really like cooking; it’s fun to create new dishes. It’s both relaxing and rewarding to share what you have the ability to make with your friends.”
Staying active while indoors is important during the winter months. This doesn’t mean going to the gym, although it is important to stay healthy during the winter months. Enjoying time with friends through recreational activities is possible, as there are many locations close to campus. The Jersey Shore Arena in Wall Township is 15 minutes from campus and has an ice skating rink and laser tag. You could use the skating rink or laser tag on a dull Saturday afternoon instead of laying around in your bed all day. Better yet, get a group of friends together, suggest both ice skating and laser tag and make a night of it. Garden State Rocks is another option. It is an indoor rock climbing facility in Morganville, which is only twenty minutes from campus.
Senior software engineering major David Aviles goes to Garden State Rocks often. He said, “If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, go here. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out the rocks and pushing my body to the max. After each ascent, I feel such a rush from making it to the top. Since I’m in the outdoors club here, I bring new members to Garden State Rocks to show them the ropes, literally.”
Nutrition professor Amanda Enright had another suggestion for indoor entertainment. She said, “The gym I teach at, CKO Kickboxing, is the perfect indoor activity. You work out on heavy bags and learn punches and kicks while also working on strength, flexibility, and cardio fitness. You can burn up to 1,200 calories in a single one hour class. We get tons of students from the University, and some even work as trainers. First class is free and we offer student discounts.”
These are just a few of a number of ways to fight off winter boredom and blues. Just because the weather is frigid and the sky is dark by dinner time, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your winter free time. There are plenty of things to do as long as you get creative and adventurous. While cold weather means you can’t go outside as much, it also means you can take advantage of indoor fun.