Today in Victoria, it’s sunny and beautiful and that’s good. It feels like spring and later I’ll be out there taking photos of all my flowers in the garden. Today, at the Olympics, just across the strait from me, the snow is melting and that is not good.
But today I’m thinking of other people who are still waiting for spring to come. Friends who are stuck in snow, cold and sometimes depending on where they live, rain and fog. I remember when we lived in Calgary and the wait for spring could sometimes last till June! Now I’m in Victoria where spring comes in February. I know when I’m lucky.
So it’s that time of year, not quite spring, not quite enough light out, and depending on where you live, maybe gray skies, maybe cold weather. It’s enough to get anyone down. Of course, a person can get the blues anytime, no reason. And then there are those days when you want to create something but nada, zip, can’t get in the mood, no inspiration.
What to do? Well, over the years I’ve made up a few tricks to get me going. Some have to do with beating the blues and some have to do with getting creative, which for me is sort of the same thing.
So I’ve decided to make a list of 10 Things I’ve been known to do to conquer the “Winter Blues”. Some of these are good for the “Anytime Blues”. I’ve got more, but hey, 10 is a good number to start with. So here we go, 10 things in no particular order, to get over the “Winter, not yet Spring Blues” according to yours truly.
1. I put on some good dancing music! I personally like ABBA, since even their sad songs sound happy and you can dance to them. I dance all over the house, no one to see me and I get pretty wild. When I’m all out of breath, and feeling pretty hot (literally), I notice that somehow I just feel happier.
2. I turn on the lights! OK this may sound odd, in these days of conserving energy and all, but if it’s the long days of darkness getting me down, a bit of light helps. Especially on those long gray days when it’s dark enough to need light to read by and it’s still daytime!
3. I go for a walk and take my camera. I give myself an assignment to find one beautiful thing and photograph it. Oddly enough I usually find lots of things once I really start looking.
4. I check my biorhythm. If it turns out that the reason I’m so blue is because of a crisis day, well, I decide to slide through it. Get out a book, make a pot of tea and if I can, read the day away. No guilt. Did I mention, have some chocolate?
5. I go shopping. OK, I know, I know. But then I shop in thrift stores and I just never know what I might find. Maybe I’ll find some new beads for a bracelet, some great dishes to break for mosaic, or an odd ornament that catches my eye. It’s all cheap so no guilt and bonus, I got out of the house too.
6. I go to the library. Now this is free and a great place to find inspiration. I might even find a book on how to be less depressed! Or about gardening, or art or color or well, the list goes on. I’m a great reader of Self-help. There are always a few pearls worth finding. And if all else fails, a good murder mystery will always cheer me up. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but I like mysteries.
7. I organize something, even a kitchen drawer will do. If I can’t get inspired to create, sometimes I just use the time to clean out the studio and organize it for my next project. Sometimes just finding things I’d forgotten about in the mess is enough to get me started on a new idea.
8. I clean something. One way for me to work off negative energy is to clean. There is something about having a clean stove, tidy cupboards, newly lined shelves or kitchen drawers that just is cheering. Maybe it’s some sort of Dutch gene or something. So here’s the up side to being down – if I didn’t get down now and then, the house would never get cleaned.
9. I go out in the garden and weed. Is it making order out of chaos? Is it just the exercise? Or is it that feeling of accomplishment after I’ve filled up a wheelbarrow with weeds for the compost that makes me feel good? Or is it the look of a freshly weeded flower bed? Could be all or any of the above. And if it’s covered in snow where you live, or raining sideways, well, sorting through last years photos of the garden is always a good pick me up in my book.
9.5 – Better yet, I go out and treat myself to some flowers.
10. I make soup or bake something. There is something meditative and relaxing about cooking and baking. All that chopping and mixing and checking the recipes. And the smell of soup or baking, well, can’t beat that. And then, while the soup is simmering or the cake is baking…..
11. I call a friend. And if my friend is feeling blue, hey, even better because there is nothing more apt to get you out of a blue mood than talking about it and getting happier with a friend. Oh I suppose technically that’s 11 Ways to get out of a blue mood. Well, there you go, a bonus.
What’s your favourite way to beat the winter blues? Please leave a comment and share.