Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winter Blahs, part one

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The mid-winter blahs have me in their cold, gray grip. It seems a bit pathetic since we haven't had a long or significantly cold winter. Lethargy, a surfeit of ideas, and a craving for cheap carbohydrates are some of the symptoms. Every problem presses down, every goal seems too hard, and the siren call of mindless TV beckons endlessly. Plain and simple seasonal affective disorder or SAD. The acronym sums it up nicely.

I wonder if creative souls are more sensitive to seasonal depression than other folks. I've fought with this all my life. Over the years, I've learned to cope with the winter blahs without resorting to mayhem or drugs....too often anyway. Over the next few days I'll share things that keep me afloat during this season.

1. Color. When the landscape is dead grass brown and the skies are gray, I crave color.

Wear something bright...a shirt, a favored piece of jewelry, or a happy scarf. My purple and sunflower lap quilt was designed with damp, gray days in mind. A perfect jolt of warmth and color.

Put up some bold art.

Print out your favorite flower or beach photos and hang them where you can see them every day.

Paint your fingernails.

Paint the walls.

Buy the big box of crayons and use every one.

Eat colorful vegetables and fruits and pretend you are eating sunshine.

Visit an art museum or a favorite shop and notice color.

Winter is the only time I buy flower bouquets since I grow my own the rest of the year. A bunch of purple tulips, the happy faces of yellow daisies, or sweetly scented hyanciths add so much life to a room. A five or ten dollar grocery store bouquet can last a week or more and give me much pleasure. Living green plants add a touch of life to a room, plus they actively filter the air of many toxins.

Erase the gray....How many ways can you add color to your life today?

Winter is a season of our lives. It can be a time of joy and creativity if we know how to approach it wisely. In the next few days, I'll post more tips on coping with this season.

6 Other Creative Souls are Saying:

Tom - Seventh Street Cottage said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. We're going through out second round of winter right now. It doesn't matter how many seeds I start in the basement, or how many daffodils are in bloom, I need winter to be over. When the dogwoods start to bloom, I'll feel a lot better about the current "suffering". I've painted as many rooms as I can. I've worn all my bright colors. I need flowers, warm air, and fingers that aren't constantly numb from the cold.

Being Beth said...

I suffer with it too, and tend to pull inside of myself. IN some ways I like the rhythm of it, a season of reflection, stillness, the unique comfort of being wrapped in a cuddly "love quilt."

I agree about color. During the winter months I revel in the gift of vivid red God allows to remain for us -- cardinals winter here, and the holly bushes put on bright red berries. Dandelions persist through the winter ice storms bringing a splash of sunshine in the brown grass.

Maybe folks painted barns red to stave off the doldrums of winter.

My grandma always kept bright red geraniums blooming on the window sill through the winter, and Mark's Grandma made brightly colored quilts during the long Spokane winters (that's why we call ours the love quilt).

I also remember something from Corrie Ten Boom's book, "The Hiding Place." When her sister, Betsy was imprisoned, Corrie sent her a red towel and a needle, and Betsy pulled threads from the towel and embroidered the curtains in her cell, and the color made all the difference.

It takes a lot of red to get through the darkness, be it winter or our personal times of imprisonment.

Jenileigh said...

I'm there with you. I've been feeling so blah this past week. UGH! I long for the warmth of spring!

(I wish we could have some snow but if it isn't going to happen, bring on the spring!)

Hugs Deb. Much love. Jenileigh

Cozy in Texas said...

I agree. Winters in England (and sometimes cloudy summers) were hard to get through. Even the vegetables seem to have fewer colors this time of year. My daffodils are flowering though and they are a welcome sight when I leave in the morning and return in the evening.
Ann

Joanne said...

At least February is only 28 days this year. It's a weird month and especially here in Texas. Our sunny days beckon, but it's too crazy windy to sit on the patio.
Carb load and hibernate!
You are not alone.

Joanne
P.S. - love the picture

DebMc said...

Thanks all!

Tom, I know exactly what you mean...I want sunshine and warmth. Everything I do is survival until spring arrives.

Beth, I love the geraniums on the window sill. Quilts are a natural for winter. Plus, the thought that all those red barns up north are to help ease the winter blues. Cool.

Jenileigh...lol, snow? No way, hon. lol It is pretty, I'll admit that. If we get snow, I go crazy with my camera.

Ann, you get those European gray days, don't you? Maybe that's why England has some of the best literature in history...gray days when no one wanted to go outside.

Joanne, yes, at least February is ONLY 28 days. Bring on March!