Stay Happy and Healthy This Winter

Although it may seem impossible when you’re dealing with finding the perfect coffee table book for Aunt Louise, remember to eat, breathe, and connect with the people around you.


Winters are rough for normal people, let alone those suffering from medical problems like diabetes, depression, body-image disorders such as bulimia or anorexia, alcoholism, gambling problems, or overeating. Many of us feel obligated to consume more than usual to make the season bearable. And while this is status quo socially, it’s not normal for our bodies. We know it’s maladaptive behavior since every year there is a surge of people trying to recover from the holidays by making New Year’s resolutions, sometimes publicly and sometimes privately, to better balance, or eliminate entirely, something in their lives during the coming year.


Science says that New Year’s resolutions don’t work, but science can never say that yours won’t work for you this year. From personal experience, however, going large with whatever demons you’re battling before trying to conquer them never puts the odds in your favor.


With that in mind, I’m going to suggest some activities that you can try which can reduce the stress of being around cold weather, food, alcohol, tobacco, relatives, presents, sick kids, and cell phones.


Making paper snowflakes:


You’ll need scissors and paper, plus maybe a pen to pick some shapes to cut out. Try it out and see what designs you like by folding a piece of paper (about the size of the snowflakes you want to make) in half two or more times. The more times you fold it in half, the more elaborate the design, but it will become more difficult to cut as well. Then, snip some triangles into the edges and unfold it to see what it looks like. Plan on wasting a few sheets of paper and don’t cut your fingers. Avoid cutting your fingers by not putting them in between the blades of your scissors at any time.




Start your car before you get ready to leave the house:


If you have an extra set of car keys, try picking a spot to keep one set that will allow you to warm up your car before you get in it. Make sure you don’t lock yourself out of your house or car if you don’t have a spare set of keys. Running your car before immediately driving away is one of the best ways to prolong the life of your engine year-round, you’ll feel better on your way to work, and snow or ice will come off your front and rear windshields more easily.


Don’t touch your face:


Just try to touch your face less. Wash your hands before eating and wash your hands every time you use a bathroom. In a public restroom, prepare to dry your hands before you wash them by dispensing a paper towel or a small amount of paper if it is on a roll, then use the paper towel as a barrier to dispense more towels or turn off the sink.


Play word games while waiting for trains, busses, or in lines:


Start with A and see if everyone in your group can name a city that starts with that letter without looking it up. Go around in a circle until someone can’t think of one or until there’s a repeat. Let the person after them pick the next category. That way you get to find out what your friends, family, or colleagues are into.


Make an orange Pomander:

Buy whole cloves and push them into an orange to create a pleasant smelling decoration. This can also keep your hands busy.