Advice, Lifestyle

Activities to keep you busy during the gloom

With gray skies and rainy days approaching Boston, it can be easy for people to begin to feel trapped inside of their spaces. This can be especially excruciating when you are living in what feels like a shoebox with student housing. 

However, I am here to tell you not to fret. As someone who is hit hard with these feelings of seasonal gloom, I have become an expert of sorts with ways to keep myself occupied. Here are some of the activities that keep me sane when the weather is less than desirable:

Bake or cook something new

I get it, not everyone is on Gordon Ramsey’s skill level in the kitchen. However, you do not need to be a professional chef to have a good time making something tasty with your friends. 

Throw on some lo-fi beats and enjoy browsing the web for a recipe that calls to you. I am a sweet tooth to my core, so my favorite thing to add to my repertoire is a new flavor of baked oats. 

For whatever reason, baked oats took over TikTok earlier this year, and I have been a die-hard fan ever since. Whether it’s Gigi Hadid’s vodka pasta sauce recipe or baked oats, cooking is always a stress relief and the payoff is sure to put a smile on your face.

Plan a trip to a foreign country

This may seem like a bit much, but hear me out. If you are stuck inside of your brownstone looking out through the dirty window panes at the sheets of black ice covering what used to be a carpet full of vibrant red and yellow leaves, you will most likely want to be anywhere else. 

For instance, imagine yourself on the beaches of Hawaii drinking a piña colada with the sun beating down on your face, or maybe in a city like Paris, gazing at the art in the Louvre followed by the best cappuccino and croissant of your life. 

I encourage you to put yourself in this dream world and plan for it. Let yourself stray away from what could be considered typical research — about the powerhouse of the cell or balance sheets and income statements — and find extravagant hotels, restaurants, tours, travel blogs and anything else of that realm. This activity is a guaranteed rush of serotonin for romantics.

A person hiking on a rainy day. Samantha recommends several activities to keep you occupied during overcast skies and rainy weather. COURTESY OF JONAS VANDERMEIREN VIA UNSPLASH

Do your self care routine from start to finish

As I mentioned before, gloomy weather has a tendency to make people have a certain type of claustrophobic sadness. It is important to always take care of yourself during these months. 

Think about what self-care means to you. For me, this means journaling with a cup of tea, taking a bath with salts and a bath bomb, reading a book for pleasure underneath a heated blanket and listening to one of my favorite albums start to finish. These are just a few. Go back to the basics and ask yourself what you need fulfilled. Get specific, whether it’s a complex skin care routine, workout or movie marathon.

You owe yourself some time designated to yourself and your needs. School gets demanding. Life can feel repetitive and monotonous if you do not stay in touch with your goals. When you feel yourself getting spread out too thin stop and slow down. Check in with yourself. Ask yourself why you are here in the first place, and figure out what is necessary and what to cut out of your schedule. 

I learned about Occam’s razor in an introductory Communications class that I took as a freshman, which states, translated in English, that “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” In translation, I learned that simplifying your life is an assured way to improve it. Remember that weather is temporary and you will get through this season. Draw inspiration from this article, call a family member or friend and take care of yourself always.

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