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Cold-Weather Study Tips

Wellbeing Dec 5, 2022

 For many parts of the world, the end of the year means cold weather, long nights and hazy skies. While one's first instinct during such a time would be to hide in bed under a small mountain of warm blankets and sleep all day, midterm exams are usually right around the corner. It's difficult to get things done during the chilly season, but if school is demanding productivity from you, here are some ways you can handle that without succumbing to winter burnout.

Go Easy On Yourself

 You could be doing anything else - comfort-eating, taking naps to stave off the cold or enjoying the festive season with your friends - but you chose to take the time to study during a climate when morale and motivation are naturally lowered, and that's already commendable effort. Don't push yourself as hard as you would during warmer weather - take more breaks, sleep earlier and don't hit the books with an empty stomach.

 This is not the time to be placing your grades at a higher priority than your well-being; not to say that that should ever be the case for the rest of the year. During a time where kindness and charity are preached everywhere, don't forget to be kind to yourself, most of all.

Work In Brightness

 This isn't to say that you shouldn't be working in proper lighting year-round, but this is especially important if you're passing winter in a place where sunlight is scarce and nighttime is most of what you're faced with. Trying to take notes or do readings in a dark setting is not only horrible for your eyes, but can also devastate the rate at which you focus on and absorb information. Always have a light near your working space to illuminate what you're looking at, and let sunlight in if possible - not being able to see the sun is part of the reason why so many people feel disheartened during winter.

 Be creative with your light sources! Scented candles lend beautiful warm tones to a room, not to mention making it smell lovely, and fairy lights, while not very bright, will definitely lift one's spirits. [Whether you're hanging tinsel off your desk lamp or] Studying is less tough if you're in a bright place, both literally and figuratively.

Stay Warm and Comfortable

 There's only one thing worse than studying somewhere uncomfortable, and that's studying somewhere cold and uncomfortable. Once more, human instinct when temperatures start dropping is to hide and rest, so being cold can deal a massive blow to your motivation. Bundle up and keep a hot drink nearby to sip on while working to stay focused, making sure not to work in a place out in the open where strong winds or even snow can disrupt you. Gloves or hand-warmers might be useful if it gets too cold to write and type.

 And of course, working too hard when you're cold makes you more vulnerable to illness. Especially when a global pandemic has yet to be completely vanquished, making sure you're well is more important than ever. Don't sacrifice it for academic excellence.

 It's natural for your will to work to nosedive when it gets cold, and your mental and physical health are likely to follow. So don't push yourself too hard - and enjoy your holiday!


Ingrid Wong

Writer, poet and harpist - I exist on Twitter as @seaviolets