Despite the temperatures, winter is still here and many of us still need a push in the right direction when it comes to creativity. In the spirit of it all, I asked four friends to share how they stay creative in the winter…
Erin: One of my biggest struggles around creativity and work in any time of year has to do with feeling like I’m taking good advantage of childcare. Knowing that I’m paying a babysitter during the work week means that I try to be super intentional about “taking advantage” of that time. That often means forcing myself to sit down and write. But lately I’ve noticed this start to backfire. Not all of my best work happens in the confines of the space behind a computer—even if on a snowy winter day that’s the most comfortable spot to hang out. Lately my most creative work is happening on the less structured weekends, when I let myself get up from my desk, dabble in other things, get outside and walk, experiment with a new project, explore a different neighborhood, read a good book. New goal: to allow myself the same kind of freedom during the week that I do on the weekends.
Sarah Noel: Winter is the worst time for me. I feel like a different person in January and February, while people “get a jumpstart” on the new year and I can’t find the motivation to clean the bathroom, let alone put words to paper. This year, we have traveled a lot and I think it has made all the difference. And I understand that you can’t always take a major getaway, especially in the months following the holidays, but even just exploring a different neighborhood or crossing the state line—changing the scenery and surrounding myself with new people—has gotten the creative juices flowing. The other thing that has really worked for me is to pay close attention to the things I’m filling up my head with. February is dark and slow and cold, but that’s perfect reading weather, so I’ve made sure to have lots of beautiful, poetic books on-hand. The same with music—I’ve loved lighting a candle and then filling the house with enchanting sounds that are maybe new to our household. Even if I don’t feel motivated to produce as much in the winter, it’s kept the creative part of me awake.
Isobel: For me, the thing that keeps my creative joints flexible in the winter is exercising outside. I like to bundle up and go for a long run or hike. It’s a chance to unplug from he noise of life, feel my body, and let ideas float into my mind naturally. Out door exercise is like a triple whammy: endorphins + sunshine vitamin D + quiet time = happy healthy mind.
Sarah Sophie Flicker: We take winter so personally. We wake up glum unmotivated and assume that it has to do with some personal failing of our own. We forget to reach out, and hygge! Hygge is a danish word/concept specific to winter in a dark, cold, country. Often times there is only daylight for a few hours of a Scandinavian winter. Thus the need for Hygge. Which means to be cozy. Which means to light candles. Which means to read, write, and most importantly, hunker down with folks you love. So that’s what we do. We hygge hard. We have open house on the weekends and have friends with (and without) kids come over. We cook, the kids destroy the house, and we get down to the business of being cozy.
We WORK for our seasons. That’s what I always tell my kids. We will never take the magic of spring or the warmth of summer or the gold of fall for granted, because we always remember the dark (but cozy) winter’s.
Remember to reach out to friends, bundle up and connect with someone who makes you feel good. Commiserate over the dark or your lack of motivation. Connect over glasses of wine or tea. Just remember not to isolate. When we start taking winter personally, it becomes depressing. We are all in this gloom together and……we are almost done with it!
How do you stay creative in the winter?
P.S I am hosting a fun Style Seminar here in Brooklyn tomorrow. I’ll be discussing style, confidence, budgets, and more importantly; how to enjoy getting dressed everyday. If you’re around, come say hi! Tickets here.