it’s winter in the northern hemisphere and that means the flu, all our cars are covered in an ashy layer of salt and ye old seasonal affective disorder. or at least in central ohio.
it’s a funky time of year. we can all feel it, that exhaustion when it creeps towards 4 pm and it’s inexplicably already getting dark out and your ankle are always so… cold…
i like winter, i always have. i was a december baby so i think that’s part of it but really no science supports that so i have no idea perhaps i am a wintery princess with magic powers that cannot take off her gloves for fear of societal exclusion. (that is the plot of frozen btw) but i still feel the winter funk. towards the end of january even i am in the mood to sweat and wear sunscreen and drink margaritas in the sand somewhere. i slowly stop going out for much more than work and groceries and as my soul freezes over i realize that i haven’t actually moved in days. when i get sick of myself, this is what i think saves it all:
- take vitamins. ok so i recently realized that i am extremely vitamin d deficient and probably have been for a lot of my life. actually, if you live anywhere that actually receives wintery winters, you are probably vitamins d deficient. i started taking supplements and my whole life changed and that is barely dramatic. i started waking up in the morning feeling ENERGIZED which probably hasn’t happened for me in like 3 years or maybe ever. I started to be able to make it through the day without taking a nap. I started to want to venture outside my house again. i never really believed in vitamins too much which is not an opinion i like to publicize but it’s kind of like how when i put something into the actual mail i am only 30% sure it will ever make it anywhere because i simply do not understand the us postal service system. so mainly i doubted myself more than i doubted vitamins. but anyways you should take them because damn i was deficient.
- light candles, play music, eat yummy things. sometimes i feel like i don’t take advantages of my senses enough. like i see things and hear things but that’s pretty much the main use of my beautiful gift of life on the average tuesday. but when you smell things and touch things and actually, deeply listen to things you realize that you are very, very alive. when i feel unstimulated and unstimulating, i light candles and make a world that is very much living around me so that i know how to live too. our sense are not just for survival.
- make something. i also recently started collaging which kind of feels like i’m back in first grade in an art room fighting over scissors, in a good way. it kind of started out of an urge to purge my pile of vogues taking up half my living space but then coupled with the intense despair i felt throwing away (recycling actually i am not an animal) beautiful things. so i went through and cut out all the things i loved. so then i’m left with a pile of small paper beautiful things, as any very healthy and normal adult human often is. and bingo. that’s how i started gluing them into my journal in patterns, shapes, textures and gorgeous spreads that make my heart like really, strangely happy. you don’t have to collage. its actually probably a lot more weird if you do. but find your ~thing. i think we all have a thing we like to make. bread, music, beer, pottery, computer motherboards, paintings, sculptures, car engines, glass, neon signs, websites, poems, whatever. as humans, i believe we inherently enjoy the process of making a thing. for ourselves. outside the realm of what we should or have to or must or are being paid for. creation is a magic thing.
- see people. this is the hardest one if you’re a crotchety old (23 year old) introverted creature like myself. especially when i get in a funk, the last thing i want to do is endure the presence of another person. but it fixes us. especially if it’s the right people. take two and call me in the morning.
- feel the funk. finally, sometimes you must sit in the crusty, moldy crud that is a funk. exist in it, revel in it, and know that actually it is very normal and okay and not something you need to immediately fix unless you want to. obviously, there is a point of contingency here where you need a good friend who will break into your apartment and spray you with a fire hose for your own hygiene and sanity if it goes on for too long. but funks are normal. we ebb and flow like water, air, blood, like electricity, like all the things we call alive. let yourself dip. but know you gotta peak again sometimes.
i’m not an expert, i’m just a person who gets a little funky every once in a while. and this is what saves me from becoming an angry hermit on a hill at least once a year. save this for that Thursday when you wake up and know it’s time to get back on the bike again. i absolutely know you will.