Fighting hibernation again

I think that despite outward appearances, I am a bear.

You may have heard me complain about this before. For some reason, for the last several autumns, my body has decided all I really should be doing at this time of year is lying slanty across a bed or a couch, dozing. My brain does not want to turn on.

Usually, I hold out until December, but this year, it kicked in as soon as sunset arrived before 5 pm local time.

The problem is, I have work to do. And I want to do it. I’ve got plans to write faster the next few weeks in order to finish my serial as quickly as possible. But all I want to do is sleep…

A morning nap helped on Tuesday. Today, I finally perked up after a little rest, a bite to eat, and taking ibuprofen (because the sleepiness is often accompanied by headache). Most of the time, exercise early in the day helps, but today, I was too miserable for even that.

My best friend told me over the phone yesterday that she’s sure all will be well, because at least I know what’s happening so I can take care of myself and know it’s just a temporary thing.

After a few weeks, the hibernation instinct seems to slowly disappear. I’m usually pretty normal by January. And the flip side is that in the spring, I sometimes go a bit manic. Not really, clinically manic, but optimistic and bouncy, energetic and creative. Totally overflowing with ideas and able to write and write and write. Which is pretty useful (not only for writing, but for Passover cleaning).

The good news is that by being patient with myself, I actually got a bunch of writing done today, not as much as I would have liked, but enough to not feel the day was just a total waste. I suppose I just have to be okay with decreased productivity.

And now, I’m returning to my den.

Do writers hibernate? How long winter nights might affect your work habits

In the last couple weeks, my productivity level has dropped dramatically. At first, I couldn’t tell what was going on with me. Was it because I was fighting a cold? The outcome of my flu shot? Too many days with a kid home sick or Thanksgiving vacation?

the four seasons experiment

an experiment to demonstrate the change of seasons

Then I realized that this happens to me every December–the winter doldrums. Like many others, the lack of daylight in the winter months drops my energy level drastically. I feel like a bear who wants to return to my cave to hibernate.

It’s harder to focus. I’m working more slowly, and I’m a mite less sharp. For someone who likes to accomplish a lot each day, it’s hard not to be disappointed with myself. It’s hard not to feel like a dummy when your mind goes all fuzzy by mid afternoon, and a mild case of the blues makes it hard to be my normal optimistic self. Continue reading