By Vanessa Pearson
While winter tends to make everyone want to stay inside, hiding under blankets, sipping hot cocoa, and streaming movies or the latest series (any Mandalorian fans?), going outside even in cold weather is actually good for your mental and physical health. Exposure to daylight and some exercise, even if it’s a 10-minute walk, boosts your dopamine and serotonin levels while decreasing stress hormones—all good ways to improve your immune system and keep away the winter blues. And although we’re still in the midst of a horrible pandemic, there are ways to get outside and be safe. Below are some tips to help beat cabin fever:
- Try Something New
- It’s more fun to do something you’re excited about, so go to a new place or do something you’ve never done. Go skiing in the Poconos (many places are open now but require online reservations), try snowshoeing, or take a walk in a local park. Check out this list for some great hikes in the area.
- Make It Fun
- Don’t be afraid to be a kid again! When it snows, build a snowperson on the Quad, have a snowball fight, or go sledding.
- If you’re taking a walk or a hike, pack a warm beverage and a yummy snack.
- Have an Accountability Partner
- Because it’s hard to get motivated, find a housemate or residential cohort friend to do activities with. You can encourage one another and enjoy the experiences together.
- Dress Warm
- Layers are key. And don’t forget that like Grandma always said, you lose heat through your head, so make sure you have a nice warm hat.
- Share with Others
- Take pictures and share your winter fun with others with #lafwinterfun.
So, maintain social distancing, wear a mask (it helps keep your face warm too!), wash your hands, and get outside. Your body and mind will thank you for it!