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Let a little light in: Seven suggestions for finding joy in the bleak midwinter

Hitting the books again in the winter can be depressing. Outside the classroom window, the world is often cloudy, dark, and wet.

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By Katie Stobbart (The Cascade) and illustrated by Anthony Biondi (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: January 7, 2015

Hitting the books again in the winter can be depressing. Outside the classroom window, the world is often cloudy, dark, and wet. Like bone-chill, uncertainty makes its home beneath the skin and settles in behind the eyes as we consider The Future.

Winter holidays are a great way to stave off our worries and celebrate plenty in a season when little grows. But after splurging on luxuries students often forgo (frequent family dinners, gift budgets, and free afternoons) the first few days hunkering down for another semester studying usually kindle a strong desire to stay under the covers — didn’t we just finish the fall semester?

However, dwelling on the doom and gloom doesn’t resolve dejected spirits or uncertainty. With that in mind, this week we’re featuring happiness, and the ways we avoid letting the darker months weigh us down.

All you need is coffee and conversation.

All you need is coffee and conversation.

Cat-cuddling does not require a willing feline.

Cat-cuddling does not require a willing feline.

Don't be afraid to ask for a hug.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a hug.

Bundle up with good thoughts to avoid the frostbite of misery.

Bundle up with good thoughts to avoid the frostbite of misery.

"It was a dark and stormy night... and they still lived happily ever after."

“It was a dark and stormy night… and they still lived happily ever after.”

There's nothing like finger-snapping good tunes to put a little groove in your step.

There’s nothing like finger-snapping good tunes to put a little groove in your step.

All there is to happiness is to embrace a warmer palette.

All there is to happiness is to embrace a warmer palette.

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