by Julia Buckley
Have you noticed a bit less pep in your prose lately? Less vinegar in your verbs? Even writers can fall victim to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Do you have any of these symptoms?
•Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
•Decreased interest in work or other activities
•Depression that starts in fall or winter
•Increased appetite with weight gain
•Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness
•Lack of energy
•Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
Gee, now that I look at it, I have these during EVERY season. :)
Seriously, though. I recently found myself looking at the fourth day of gray and gloomy and snow-threatening skies. It made me feel rather sad and helpless, and I'm a person who has never minded snow overly much. Still, after a time, this season can affect my productivity.
SAD is actually a form of depression, and so most Internet sites about it will tell you that if your symptoms are severe, you should speak to a mental health professional. However, there are certain common sense things you can do that might perk up your personality and your prose.
Here are some tips from E-how:
1. Exercise three times a week. This will build your immunity and help you sleep better.
2. Eat well, but not heavily. Think nutrition.
3. Laugh, even if you're faking it. Studies show that even fake laughing boosts one's mood. (What a great pre-writing activity! As if writers weren't eccentric enough).
4. Wear bright colors and things that make you feel good.
Perhaps this last one can extend to your writing area. Over Christmas break I cleaned my desk and the surrounding shelves, as well as a few drawers, and it REALLY made me feel better.
So, do you think SAD is affecting your writing? If so, what solutions work for you?