Connection During the Winter Months 


Credit: Luciana Zaiet

In case you haven’t realized, this is the time of year where things get weird. It feels like the Arctic tundra, people are already making summer plans, and the Puddle ducks are nowhere to be found. Despite this, it is imperative that we get through the weirdness together by finding new ways to stay connected. While Valentine’s Day might come to mind when we think of February, we can add to the celebration of love through the little moments of friendship and connection as well. 

For those of you who want to explore the outdoors while finding these bits of joy, I recommend taking advantage of the beautiful Maine mountains. Even if you don’t ski, there are plenty of options to spend time with new friends in the snow. Sledding, hiking, making snow people and going on winter walks are all great options when it comes to creating connections. Grab a friend and stargaze, taking in the clear air and sky that this time of year offers us. One of the best ways to find connection is by feeling the power of something so breathtaking and bigger than us, and then reflecting on this experience with others. Put simply, practice saying yes to new experiences, grab your warmest clothes, and get outside!

On the other hand, there are plenty of great ways to seek connection without having to brave the cold. If you are seeking to expand your social circles, there are a multitude of clubs or activities on campus that are conducive to creating connections. Whether it’s knitting, smoothie making or playing an indoor sport, finding ways to be creative and engaged with others is imperative during the winter. 

Beyond these activities, it can be both energizing and soothing to choose mindfulness practices such as crafting, meditation, and yoga. Ensuring that our minds are focused on the present moment is the key to finding meaningful connections, new or old. Additionally, it can be extremely helpful to get in touch with friends and family from home via text, Facetime or handwritten letters. It is easy to get caught up in our routines and daily tasks during the winter, but sometimes reaching out to our loved ones outside of the Bates community can remind us of how connected we are to others no matter where we are. 

My final point is simple yet very important in the conversation about connection. Although humans thrive off of creating new areas of community and understanding, we also must honor our relationships with ourselves. Any of the activities and ideas discussed above can easily be done or amended to fit the needs of an individual. Time to look inward is just as important as establishing connection, so be sure to honor your needs. Enjoy the brisk air while you can because spring is among us!