Let’s face it; the days are getting shorter, and everything’s going to get a little more drab in the coming months.
With this change in season comes the inevitable change in mood that plenty of us will unfortunately experience. Seasonal affective disorder, or seasonal depression, as it’s known, affects plenty of us, and it can be really hard to stay productive while experiencing a constantly low mood.
If you’re a writer, you might find yourself picking up your pen or typing on your laptop far less than you usually do. Ideas and inspiration might elude you, and writing a single page will feel like a Herculean task. We’ve been there. We wanted to share some tips today on how to get around this issue.
#1: SAD Lamp
Sitting in a drab and uninspiring room is not going to do any favours for you, and sitting in the darkness is also going to allow Winter’s cruel hands to get to you. Curating the environment around you to be inviting and cosy is essential in combating seasonal depression and winning back your productivity. We’d recommend starting with a SAD lamp (seasonal affective disorder lamp) which literally emulates sunlight to fight off the Winter blues. This can be great to have in your workspace so you can get on with what you need to do.
#2: Don’t Force Yourself
Whilst we’ve said before that it’s important to practice your craft, you do need to bear in mind that forcing yourself to be inspired may just lead you to needless dead-ends. There is a time and a place to be creative and exercise your skills and talents, but it is also acceptable to take time off. Take time to yourself before you throw yourself back into your work.
#3: A Little at a Time
SAD can make small tasks seem gargantuan and impossible. Vacuuming the living room may feel like a weekend-long deep clean. Doing the dishes? Forget about it. The same can be said of writing or any artistic hobby. You might have been writing a chapter a day in Spring time, but that just seems out of reach now. The solution? Baby steps. There is no reason for you to make yourself feel like a failure for not writing as much as you’d ideally like to. If writer’s block truly has taken hold, take it a paragraph at a time. Something is better than nothing.
#4: Get up and Go
One of the easiest ways to allow seasonal depression to walk all over you is to just succumb to it. Unfortunately, staying in bed with the covers pulled up to your neck isn’t “dealing with it” it’s just basking in it. We all have days like that so you’ll receive no judgement from us. That being said, getting up and doing something as simple as moving around can really mobilise your brain, and get the creative gears turning again.