Seasonal depression is real. It can occur in the summer, but for most people, the symptoms begin in the fall and persist throughout the winter months. These symptoms include low-energy, difficulty sleeping, changes in weight, loss of concentration, and feelings of hopelessness. When you suffer from seasonal depression, you might end up isolating yourself from friends and family who love you. You might also temporarily give up on your dreams because you are not in the mood to work or feel like success is out of your reach.
The best way to make it through a creative block when you are suffering from seasonal depression is to see a therapist. They will help you talk through your feelings and they will give you the necessary tools to combat your seasonal depression. Of course, there are some other tactics you can try from inside your own home.
The easiest thing you can do is make your environment brighter. Instead of writing in a darkened office or painting in a windowless studio, you should bring some sunshine into the room. Draw blinds. Open windows. Buy more lights. If possible, take your work outside from time to time. Breathe in fresh air. Sit directly beneath the sunlight — or even the clouds. Avoid staying cooped up inside for too many hours at a time because it will worsen your symptoms.
As much as you want to oversleep, you should create a schedule and stick to it. Wake up at the same time each morning and work on your projects at the same time each afternoon. You might not be ‘in the mood’ to get any work done, but you have to make the attempt anyway. If you wait around for inspiration to strike, or for your mood to magically improve, then you are never going to get any work done. You have to force yourself to be creative even when you don’t feel creative. Some of your work might be less impressive than you hoped, but producing something is better than producing nothing at all.
If you cannot force yourself to get anything done, if you are going to procrastinate no matter what, then do not waste your time watching television. Exercise instead. Getting your body moving will help decrease your stress and lift your mood. It will also give you plenty of time to think about the next project you want to work on. By the time you are finished working up a sweat, you should have plenty of new ideas.
If the ideas still aren’t coming to you, keep a journal. Write down your thoughts. List out all of the problems that have been bothering you and all the emotions that have been coursing through you. Get everything on paper and out of your system. Writing is a creative outlet. It could put you in the right mindset to work on the rest of your projects.
When all else fails, take a vacation. Give yourself a break from the creative life. You are allowed to take a mental health day or two. You are allowed to put yourself before your career. Treat yourself for a little while and then get back to business. A small vacation might cause a big change in your creativity.
Seasonal depression is real. You should not ignore the symptoms. You should not hibernate and procrastinate until summer rolls around and you feel better again. Listen to your body. Take care of your mental health.
Your seasonal depression does not have to get in the way of your creativity. You can still complete everything you want to accomplish.
If you or someone you know might be dealing with seasonal depression or other mental health troubles, you can find help and resources 24/7 here.