There’s no doubt that when life seems a little bleak it can be hard to appreciate the good around you, and it certainly doesn’t help if you’re stuck in a pile of snow- it’s snowed every week for the past month here in Boston. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a very optimistic person, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore all the wonderful things of the present. Sometimes being overly optimistic feels too ideal, so I prefer to call myself a ‘realist’. And though the snowpocalypse outside may have me feeling down more often than not, it’s important to appreciate life regardless.

art by Elliecraze
art by Elliecraze

Happiness can be found anywhere if you make it. Maybe you found a dollar in your back pocket, or a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while texted you, or you found comfort in the warmth of a cup of tea. In the depths of winter it can be too easy to find faults in everything and too hard to find one small good thing. Here I’ve added some tips and ideas on how you can make it a little bit easier!

1. Make a playlist of calm, happy, uplifting, whatever-gets-your spirits-up music! Wallowing in depressing music can be nice to fit your mood, but it only adds to the bleakness. Take a walk, listen to it outside, and enjoy the (bitter) weather!

2. Put together a little box of treasures: a letter you received or wrote, a treasured gift or memento from a good day, your favorite book, a stress reliever ball, anything that you might find calming!

3. Take a nice, warm shower or bath. If you have scented bath salts or soap and a bathtub (unfortunately for us college kids that’s highly unlikely), pour some in and enjoy. Try to relax your mind and breathe in the lovely bubbles.

4. Prioritize! It’s so easy to procrastinate with a lack of motivation. Getting your responsibilities taken care of will lower your stress levels and make it easier to get things in check, which in turn will motivate you to do more once you realize how good it feels. You’ll be able to do the things you love without feeling guilty.

5. Find one small good thing each and every day. It’s definitely hard, but it makes every day a little easier to appreciate. Maybe the sun is out for the first time in a while, perhaps you had a nice conversation and mad a connection, anything!

More importantly, days are better when you’re nice to yourself. Treat yourself well, allow yourself that ice cream, find one more thing to love about yourself, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are capable of anything. The beginning of March means spring is near! Despite the incessant rain that comes with spring, there are the good things: fresh air, budding flowers, actual green, growing grass. It may feel like you’re in the trenches now, but as cheesy as it is, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

# # # # # # #

March 8, 2014