How to Stay on Track During the Winter

How to Stay on Track During the Winter

Emma Larsen, Staff Reporter

Over the winter, people become less motivated to work and practice self care. Motivation becomes challenging with the change of weather, sunsets being earlier, and overall the darkness outside. 

“I always feel bored in the winter. The transition with semesters makes it easy to feel bored and lost,” says Grace Terrell ’24.

When feeling burnt out and no longer able to work anymore, it is good to step back, breathe, eat, or maybe even fall asleep. “Take a step back, and evaluate different aspects of your life. Sleep on it. Sleep on what troubles you in life. You will wake up feeling rested, and refreshed in the morning,” says Elizabeth Pisano ‘25. A study by Gloria Mark from the University of California showed that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to being focused on a task after an interruption. This can make it twice as easy to feel burnt out before even starting work. The use of technology is also very distracting when completing a simple task. 

“Normally I turn my phone off for a long time until I am able to get my mind back in place again. Sometimes it takes hours, but it helps me get back into the mindset again,” states Ana Pardo ‘24. However, there are ways technology can help focus too. Music, for example, can calm the brain down. It can also help ease the mind and relocate it back to the original task. Another thing that can benefit focus is sleeping.​​ When a person gets stuck on a question, especially if they are tired, staying focused can become very stressful and taxing on a person’s mental state. With a good night’s sleep, the mind will reset and revisit the issue. Therefore, in the morning, thoughts come easier.

Sleeping is often talked about in relation to focus and motivation, but how many people take sleeping seriously? If not enough sleep is provided to the body, the next morning, everything can feel off, including someone’s mental state and physical state. “This morning I had swim practice, and the night before I had a lot of homework. So I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted. It threw me, and my performance off,” shows Kira Agne ‘23.

Getting stuck or lost is common for people. Nobody should feel like they are alone in something. Everybody goes through hard times. It is normal. It is important to recognize your physical and mental state and to realize it is okay to feel this way. There are hundreds of ways a person can get back on track. What is important is to not get lost in something you cannot get out of.“If I feel like I’m struggling, I try to remind myself that I’ve been through harder times, which helps me know and get the strength to know I can deal with what I’m facing,” suggests Sue Kampert, the upper school human dynamics teacher.“Whenever I feel lost or sad, I get in touch with my feelings. I find a quiet place and reflect on my feelings. I meditate, breathe, or go outside for a walk. I try to find the source of what is making me feel this way and realize it is okay to feel sad,” implies Danielle Litterelle, the upper and middle school psychologist.

“I like to talk to somebody when I feel lost because it’s good to talk to somebody else. You will put yourself into a hole, and the best way to get out is to talk to somebody,” recognizes Kira Agne ‘23.

Being tired due to work or burnt out, in general, is normal. Just recognize your limits. Balance your time on what is important to you. Focus on yourself when you reach a dead-end or do not feel “you” anymore. Your mental and physical state comes first. Staying positive, exercising, talking to someone, sleeping, setting goals, focusing on yourself, balancing your time, and more are all extremely important and beneficial. “Find something that makes you happy, and try to prioritize that,” says Terrell.

“Try to find something each day that gives you joy. I try to treat myself to something that will bring me around the corner,” emphasizes Kampert.