Tuesday, February 21, 2023

How to Stay Productive When You've Got the Winter Blues

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey

When the weather gets colder and there's less sun, it can be very easy to fall into a slump. There's nothing wrong with feeling the urge to hibernate. But shorter days can bring challenges as well.

Here on the East Coast the weather gets cold  (though this year temperatures have been fluctuating quite a bit) and often the sky is cloudy. Dreary days with limited sunshine can affect my mood. And when I'm not feeling much energy, usually that means not a lot of writing gets done.

I’ve learned to compensate by doing healthy things to keep me going. Sometimes I have more energy and want to keep up the momentum. But when I don't, I try not to be hard on myself. 

If this is something you struggle with, here are some suggestions that might be helpful.

*Get a light that simulates sunlight (there are "sunset" lamps as well). A friend of mine recommended full-spectrum light bulbs which can be used in lamps or light fixtures. 

*Buy fresh flowers, prints or other items to add a touch of color to brighten up your home or workspace. 

*Exercise is a great way to lift your mood. If you can’t get outside as often, use online exercise videos or create your own exercise routine. Just do what works for you.

*Meditate to clear your mind and get focused. It might also help with story ideas!

One more thing: limiting your exposure to  negative environments (and negative people) can go a long way.  Even if your output slows down, be kind to yourself. Do the best you can for the time being. 

You can plan for slower times and set your writing deadlines accordingly. That way even if you're not in the mood to get a lot done, you'll still be on track. Do what works for you so that you can stay creative and productive during the winter season. 

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