being human

How to Be a Person Again After Winter

It’s time to emerge from our winter hibernation. Photo: Universal Pictures

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past three months in the confines of your apartment, wearing nothing but your ex-boyfriend’s old hoodie and your comfiest sweats. Sure, we may smell like a weeks’ worth of body odor and our fingers are coated in doughnut-crumb crust, but we have a good excuse: It was winter, and we were hibernating. During that time, our sole exercise was the thrice-daily walk from our bedrooms to the bathroom, and our only human contact was with the Seamless delivery guys who brought us our daily meals.

But as with all good things, our annual winter hibernation must come to an end. It’s officially spring and time for us to (begrudgingly) rejoin society. However, the transformation back into being human is daunting. It’s been so long since we bathed, socialized, or did anything remotely sexual, and we don’t know where to even begin. Here’s a handy guide to help us through our transition back into personhood.


The hot water in our apartments takes forever to heat up when it’s cold out, so it’s fair that we’ve generally avoided washing. But guess what, it’s springtime and we’re alive, so it’s time for us to stop emitting that distinct sulfuric smell of brussels sprouts and start looking like a person again. All we need is some soap. Many stores, including our local bodegas, sell soap. We can also find it online. There’s regular soap. Hand soap. Decorative soap in the shape of a baby carriage. The soap options are endless.


Although an entire microbiome of bacteria and fungus has grown in our apartments, we haven’t actually been out in nature for a while. We can’t remember what it feels like when fresh air hits our faces, and our eyes have adjusted to the lightless environment we’ve created for ourselves. But now that birds are chirping and the snow is melting, it’s important for us to actually go outside and be one with the rest of the world, whether that means hiking across the street to the $1-pizza place or going on an actual walk in a park (click here to find out what a park is). The problem is, our muscles have atrophied from months of neglect. So first things first, we need to slowly move our bodies out of the fetal position, and bend and stretch our limbs to get the blood flowing again. Next thing we know, we’ll be capable of standing and leaving our apartments. We just need to throw on some heavy-duty UV-protected ski goggles (to shield our eyes from the harsh light of the sun), say a prayer, and finally emerge from the safety of our hibernation cocoons.


Follow my lead and burn your coats and sweaters in a ceremony to help rid yourself of the memory of the past few months. This is also helpful for getting rid of the stench of B.O. that permeates your apartment.


If you did happen to go outside at all this winter (why?), you likely had your hood up to protect yourself from the harsh winds. It’s probably been a while since you’ve acknowledged another person outdoors. But spring is a great time to remind ourselves that other human beings exist. While walking down the street, look up from the ground and make eye contact with people, and perhaps even say “hello” to a few of them. Recognizing the humanity in others will help us feel less isolated after three months of seclusion, as it reminds us that we are part of a vast community of people who survived winter.


The only thing in the world that we relate to at this point is the Mayo Clinic page on seasonal affective disorder, so it’s time to try to force ourselves to experience joy again. Dedicate an entire day to watching Laguna Beach montage videos, or go back to the therapist we ghosted last fall.


We’re pretty sure that we’re technically born-again virgins at this point, but apparently, sex makes us feel good, so it’s time to get back out there and bang. But how do we even begin to have sex again? Well, the first thing we need to do is find someone to hook up with. After bathing, we’re well on our way. Next, we need to download a dating app that aligns with our interests — Hater if you hate everything, or Tinder if you enjoy receiving unsolicited dick pics — and select someone to bone. Here’s an explainer on all of the six sex positions to review before your encounter.


While our diet of lasagne and pastries certainly helped keep us warm, we now feel like shit because we’ve had absolutely no nutrients for the past several months. One way to get over this crappy feeling is to start eating food that is actually good for us. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend people eat things called “fruits and vegetables,” as well as grains, low-fat dairy, proteins, and oils. The guidelines also say people should limit their intake of saturated fats and sugars, which may seem impossible but is apparently doable by swapping our doughnuts for salads.

How to Be a Person Again After Winter