Staying Active and Engaged this Season!


By Brennan Kraus, Deputy Editor

As the leaves change and the weather gets cooler, it seems to be harder and harder to find the motivation to stay active and engaged. However, it’s crucial to take advantage of the beautiful weather that our area provides as the winter months arrive. Especially as the leaves fall, one way to burn some energy is by raking up the never-ending leaves! Furthermore, we are fortunate to be close to some wonderful hiking trails. Great Falls National Park, for instance, has beautiful views and great hiking opportunities. Most notably, the Riverbend trail to Great Falls Park allows hikers to see the Potomac’s beautiful running rapids while getting some exercise! Being isolated at home can be troublesome for our mental and physical health alike; it is essential to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s to just go on a quick walk! 

An important consideration of our mental health is that Seasonal Affective Disorder is prevalent during the fall and winter seasons. As the days get shorter and darkness surrounds us for much more time, the feeling of hopelessness, fatigue, social withdrawal, and depression are just a few of the hardships that this time of year can bring. While it may be challenging to find motivation and be hopeful, especially considering spending more time virtual recently, it is vital to remember that there are many ways to combat these troublesome feelings. Light therapy, which is simply surrounding yourself in light rather than darkness for as much time as possible, is one approach to combating Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. Furthermore, while it’s harder to interact socially due to the pandemic restrictions, there are abundant resources to keep in touch with your friends and family while staying safe. Netflix’s party feature, for example, is a fun way to watch videos with your loved ones while chatting at the same time. While it may not be the same as being in person, making some yummy snacks and cuddling up with some comfy blankets while watching and talking with your friends is an excellent way to spend what can feel like a lonely night.

While this time of year can bring adverse effects on our moods and emotions, it also means the holiday season is among us! Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and many other joyous occasions provide ample opportunities to spend time with those you love and enjoy the magic of the winter and late fall. As it gets colder, easy DIY projects such as making homemade hot chocolate bombs are an excellent way to embrace the season while having fun at the same time! The most important thing, however, is to remember that things will get better. While we are in unprecedented times, and it can seem like it will never end, having hope and finding ways to be happy regardless of our world’s state is extremely important. Remember that the Flint Hill community offers excellent resources including our wonderful, trained counselors. They are more than willing to talk to you about any problems you may have or simply chat! Our community is incredibly special and wants each member to know they have a support system behind them. You are not alone; we truly are all in this together!

Cover photo from