Saving Winter

Gemma Levy 2022 and Sadie Mank 2022, Staff Writers

The impending winter feels like impending doom for many; the sun makes brief appearances, the darkness consumes, and most of the loopholes people have found for coping with the pandemic have gone out of season. Combating the unfortunate side effects of this intimidating winter seems like a losing battle. With the two weeks of winter break followed by two weeks of remote learning, many of us will probably resort to screen-based activities as a means of entertaining ourselves.  Spending time with friends outdoors, sports, and traveling within our general vicinity were summertime saving graces. Here are a few replacements. 

Contact with friends is proven to be the number one way to lift spirits. To take it old school, letter writing can be a really fun activity. Imagine the thrill of receiving an actual letter in the mail. Send a friend amusing printed pictures, exhilarating anecdotes, and lyrics for them to guess (which song they are from). No cheating! While many of us don’t send snail mail in normal times, it’s a great new habit to start. Going out to dinner with friends, though, really is something to be missed. We all long for those nights out on the town, so here is a simulation with a twist: order food for each other and keep it a surprise! Restaurant choice, food choice, everything’s up to your friend. Facetime each other to see those priceless reactions, to enjoy the meal, and to catch up. What’s even cooler is that this can all be done over state lines!

Nobody wants a repeat of last March; stuck in lockdown in your claustrophobic, undecorated room for days on end. Improving your space is a definite necessity. Even for those not artistically inclined, making art with the clear objective of hanging it up is a good way to occupy your time and space. An especially commemorative art project would be to cut out headlines from your favorite newspaper about all things 2020. Make a collage with these cut outs and you will have yourself a cool art piece to mark this time in your life by. Collages are great ways for everyone to successfully make art. Spending hours on a failing project can be demoralizing, so here is yet another collage idea. If you have a favorite book, chances are you have two copies lying around. Tear out a few of your favorite pages, arrange them nicely, and hang them up! Another fail-proof art project is continuous line drawing. The only requirement is that you don’t pick up your pencil. Lastly, flower arranging is a project that can bring the outdoors in, liven up a space, and fill some time; head over to your local Whole Foods or corner store and pick up various species of flowers. Though this activity is ideal for summer, there are still plenty of great flowers available in the winter. Don’t be phased by the thorns, jump headfirst into this out of the box activity.

Music is another excellent creative channel, and playlist-making is more of an art than one might realize. Kids these days tend to keep running playlists of their favorite songs at any given moment, but what about a concept playlist? Come up with a very specific scenario and create a playlist to fit that vibe exactly. You can even challenge a friend to use the same concept and see the different directions you take it in. For example, create a playlist for an evening roadtrip with the cast of How I Met Your Mother. Have fun! 

All of these suggestions serve as great templates – personalize them to your taste and submit your winter creations to Helios for an upcoming issue! Making the most out of winter isn’t an easy task, but it is a possibility for all of us. 

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