Daylight savings: the final nail in autumn’s coffin. As the anticipation of holiday cheer rises, the inevitability of eating dinner in the dark, having to keep a tissue box within arm’s reach, and aching to ditch productivity may haunt you, but that’s no reason to let winter put a damper on your spirit and creative process. Here’s a list of ways to invigorate your routine with extra joy until spring comes to the rescue. Photograph by Marie Zucker
Get up and get out
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real condition that affects many in the wintertime. While hibernation may be first on your list of “wants,” exposure to light is high on your list of “needs.” Going outside shortly after sunrise will brighten your mood so your mind can be as sharp as it needs to be.
Michael Terman, director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, recommends spending at least 30 minutes walking briskly or running if you go outside in order to combat the chill of winter mornings. It’s also an excellent stress reliever and will reverse some of that constant sitting you’re bound to do. Although it seems contrary to your body’s desire for rest, moving around can give you an extra jolt of energy and so you’ll be less likely to call it a day early on.
Stock your pantry well
If you live in an area with snow, odds are you won’t be hitting the road for takeout much this season. While hot cocoa and leftover pie may seem like the perfect complement to your winter bedrest, it will likely only make you less motivated to get up and move around.
Your diet can positively impact your mood, health, and energy level. Think of food as fuel that will help you be the best person you can be. Squash, pumpkins, yams, sweet potatoes, kale, brussels sprouts, and spinach are all popular examples of winter produce and pack the right nutrients to keep you feeling good until March so you can produce quality work.
Concentrate on a hobby
An upside to staying indoors is that it provides you with free time to focus on your artwork. If inspiration escapes you, use an alternative hobby as a source of relief. Photographers can try their hand at painting, maybe even reinventing their own work. Casting your efforts on different aspects of art may be able to help you bring something extra to your trade.
Take a class with a creative focus or read an inspirational book about your favorite artist in hopes of gaining a new outlook on how to carry out artistic methods. Playing an instrument, quilting, baking, and auto repair are great ways to take advantage of free time during the winter. Baking for others scores bonus points, as it will also endow you with the joy of giving.
Get a jump on spring cleaning
Clutter can cloud your mind, which can be detrimental to your work. Let the smell of clean laundry provide you with a temporary boost, donate what you can in this time of giving, and turn your home into a more satisfying work environment in the process.
Keep your thoughts positive
Nothing lasts forever. This applies to the good and the bad. If you are able to occupy yourself with small things that make you happy, the warmth of the sun will return in a shorter time than you imagined. Keep in mind that every season has its perks, and it’s up to you to enjoy these perks to their maximum. Think of the small pleasures exclusive to winter, like hot baths and holiday music. A great phrase to remember: “Spring always follows winter.”