Winter often feels long and dreary. Winter blues, or the seasonal affective disorder, affects as much as 6% of people, especially in the northern climates (Northeast and Northern parts of the United States, for example, and even higher in places like Norway). The numbers, of course, are much lower in the southern climates (such as Florida). SAD also tends to affect women on a larger scale than men.*
Now, these are all scientific facts, but what does it mean for us as individuals? We often feel down during the winter, everything seems bleaker than during the summer days. We want to sleep more and walk less.
The winter blues invariable also affects our creativity and the way we think.
Well, fear not, for spring is just around the corner and that is the season for renewal in all ways. The days are getting longer and brighter. The long awaited warmth feels amazing on our faces and the smiles come out to play much more often.
Here are a few tips on renewing ourselves during the spring, and renewing our writer souls.
1. Spring clean your space. This is the perfect time to de-clutter and make more room for new stuff. Physical cleaning and de-cluttering does something to us that makes us feel lighter and happier in general. It gives us a chance to review what we still need and what we can get rid off - whether it's paper, clothes, projects or people who are toxic in our life.
2. Speaking of toxic people, make it a point to surround yourself with positive, upbeat people during this time. Just being around happy people will make you happier. Now, I'm not saying that you should cut out a friend who's going through rough times and just cannot act happy right now. That would be terrible! But if you're to help get her through a rough time and uplift her, you need to charge up your own positivity and happiness battery.
3. Think positive. We've all heard this a million times. We've all being given a million examples of how that works. Yet it's probably one of the hardest things to do. We are almost wired to think negative, to come down on ourselves and critique others. But the fact is undeniable - positive thinking works. And if nothing else, it does make you feel better.
4. Go for nice walks during sunny warm weather (we are stuck inside too much during the cold days) to remind yourself how beautiful the world can be. Enjoy the sight of fresh bright green grass and leaves on the trees. Breathe in the fresh air (try not to do it while standing at a busy city intersection - I guarantee that air won't be fresh). Buy yourself the most colorful and fun flowers and put them in a place where your eye will catch them all the time, especially in your writing space. Daffodils and tulips usually do it for me.
5. Think of new projects and get excited about them. Think about how you're going to feel working on them and how you'll feel when they're done. Work on the old projects with a renewed sense of passion and enthusiasm. Look, the sun is shining bright, and the sky is the limit on what you can do.
Are you excited about spring? What is your favorite part of this seasons? Do you have new projects you're working on?
* Seasonal Affective Disorder by Steven D Targum, MD and Norman Rosenthal, MD