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2012 Fall Issue 6 (October 26, 2012)

Student Wellness Advisor Tips

October 26, 2012
By Cameron Smith

There’s just something interesting about a gray day. Something about waking up in the morning, throwing back the blinds and seeing the whole world muted. What’s really astounding, though, is how easily we are affected by some cloud cover. How quickly our mood is affected by a little misty rain.

When I was a little kid I used to think that bugs were in charge of color. I thought they would fly through the air and skitter across the ground every evening, trailing black paint wherever they went. And then, in the morning, they’d do the whole thing over again. But this time, in color. A bunch of miniature Van Goghs and Picassos and Warhols running around making everything technicolor for us before we woke up.

When our tiny artist friends take their day off (they’re unionized and sometimes go on strike. Pay raises not meeting rising inflation and whatnot) we get a gray day. People react differently to the lack of color in their world.

Just a light drizzle, a little fog and a cloudy sky makes some of us want to curl up in a nest made out of pillows and blankets and comforters before even getting out of bed. For others, the very same scenario warrants slightly soggy adventuring through the arb clad in what amounts to a plastic suit.

With the winter descending upon us more quickly than some might expect, it’s important to recognize how these kinds of days affect us mentally. Not seeing the sun for a while is not really good for anybody. In general, tempers get shorter, anxiety levels rise, and stress becomes harder to deal with.

But that doesn’t mean that we need to let weather define us (we’re not British after all. Most of us at least). Yeah, it’s a real part of our lives and yeah we have to deal with it. But just because it’s raining out and overcast doesn’t mean that our moods need to be overcast and raining.

Curling up in a pillow nest is just as good a use of time as running through puddles in the rain. The important thing is to try and catch yourself before you get too down. Before the day turns black. A day doesn’t need to become black just because it’s already gray. Gray is equal parts black and white after all. Let’s leave the painting to the bugs.

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