The Fragile Creative Brain

With the Equinox now behind us, and the feeling of fall in the air (more, please!), I’m very aware that we’re coasting towards short, cold days here in Minnesota. I signed up for this when I officially moved here 7 years ago, so I’m ok with it. But, as they days have been getting crisper, I’ve been feeling considerably off my game. It could be the whole 2-moves-in-8-weeks thing, but I’m seeing some of the same issues I dealt with last year- the difficulty sleeping, the middle-of-the-night anxiety, the feeling of overwhelm and dread and the trickier time recognizing what ‘happy’ looks like.

I’ll say right away that it looks nothing like last year– it’s not nearly as settled in over me, but instead comes and goes. But, I’m aware that it could get to be a problem as the days get shorter and the cold makes it harder to get out and conquer life.

What I learned from my last experience (and from many wise words from fellow Fragile Brain Chemistry buddies), is that during these times, when your emotional landscape is unpredictable, you almost have to treat yourself like a small child. Routines are necessary (waking times, sleeping times, exercise times), exercise is non-negotiable, eating regular meals with protein is key, and avoiding any inclination to find solace in a bottle of wine (or bourbon!) is advisable. Think about today, and less about tomorrow. Do something nice, just because it is nice, and don’t be too worried when it doesn’t make you feel amazing. It could be different tomorrow– or in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.

I’ve learned this year that the hardest thing about being a creative person is to get out of your own way so that you can Do.The.Work. It’s been my motto as I’ve been working with other people to make their own creative work a reality. How can I help you get out of your own way? Because, the projects and baby ideas that you’re dreaming up demand so much time, risk, and energy. They demand that you’re healthy- brains and bodies a like. So, these times where the sun is sinking require a certain amount of self-care, and a break from anything that might stand in the way.


What do you do to fight off depression and anxiety?

{PS: I’m not a doctor, and these are my own experiences. Please go see a medical professional if you have questions or concerns about your own mental health!}


Pictures: Happy thoughts of State Fair pumpkins, fall bicycle rides, portraits by my goddaughter Rosemary, and Little the cat (who always needs a pillow).


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