The winter months are when seasonal affective disorder sets in. We all know that feeling by many names — the winter blues, seasonal depression, and so many others. This is the time of the year when the sun isn’t out as much, and we aren’t getting enough vitamin D, which can all result in our depression/anxiety/mental health disorders increasing. Due to that, all we want to do is sleep and hide inside. At least, that’s how I feel.
Personally, the worst part about seasonal depression is the lack of inspiration. I love to write. So much so that I went to school for Print Journalism. It’s my outlet and one of my favorite things to do, so I thought, “why not educate myself and get a degree in it?” The problem is, however, being uninspired.
I’ve felt uninspired for months.
Just like for most people, 2020 was not my year. And 2021 isn’t much different. Work has been draining, and every time I come home, I just end up going to sleep after a couple of hours. Maybe I’ll eat dinner, maybe not. It’s hard to feel any type of joy these days. Sure, good things have happened. But the world is overwhelmingly negative.
Even with everything going on in the world, I’ve had this constant urge to write. However, every time I stare at my laptop screen, I clam up, and my mind goes blank. It feels like the only thing I look forward to anymore is my morning coffee.
Currently, most of the South, including Texas, has been snowed in by this wild weather storm. We haven’t seen weather like this in the States in a while — it gave us almost four inches of snow in Tennessee. And it’s the good snow, the snow you can make solid snowballs and snowmen with. Even though I thought I moved away from Maine’s harsh winters, this sparked something in me.
I finally felt some type of pure childlike joy. Maybe it was my nephew and best friend bringing it out of me. Maybe it’s feeling like I’m a kid in the middle of a blizzard in Maine, throwing snow in my brother’s face while we make snow angels. Regardless of what it is, something hit me. I cannot be the only one feeling this way — feeling like you’re in this dark cave, like your brain is trapped. So if I’m not the only one, maybe I can talk about all the ways I inspire myself. After thinking about it, there are many ways I can help myself feel inspired.
I’ve started to carry around a small notebook in my purse at all times.
Thankfully, I work in an office, so paper supply is never a problem. Sometimes I take notes on my phone, maybe not look at it for a month or two, and then come back to it when I need something. I’ve started to look at other people’s writing more, both from Unwritten or other outlets. I’ve started to check out trending news and wondering if I could chip in some of my thoughts on the topic. The biggest thing that helps me is not to force myself. Forcing myself makes me feel more stuck.
Feeling like you are in a barren wasteland of winter with the biggest desire to write about everything around you isn’t easy. But sometimes you just need to broaden your horizons. Even though you feel uninspired, there is always inspiration around you. You just have to look a little.