I suffer from social anxiety and depression, I work from home, I’m a writer, and it’s winter. That’s basically the recipe for being a hermit. I have a real tendency to go long periods of time without leaving the house, and it’s so much worse in the wintertime. There’s something about the cold that just makes you want to curl up on the couch with Netflix or a good book and not talk to anyone. (No? Just me?) I think a lot of creative people (especially writers) have these tendencies so here’s a post for all of you. (And me. I’m basically talking to myself… or blogging to myself, rather.)
1. Get some exercise.
Exercising helps to relieve stress, it essentially hits the refresh button on your brain, and it just makes you feel better. If the weather is nice enough, you can go for a walk at your favorite park. Surround yourself with beautiful natural scenery or go to your gym and run on the treadmill while listening to that Taylor Swift album you don’t want to admit you like. (I have been trying to do this lately. I like to go to water aerobics where the smell of the chlorine reminds me of summer.)
2. Get inspired.
Go out and see a play, a band, an art exhibit. Go to a poetry reading at a coffee shop or the symphony. If you don’t have a lot of money, there are usually free events you can check out. Getting inspired by other artists is not only a great way to tap into your own creativity, but you will be out in the world having a real experience instead of just sitting on the couch.
3. Get involved.
One of the best ways to overcome being a hermit is to join a group or take a class. Join that new book group or writing group. Take a pottery class or a drawing class. Go to an open mic night. Not only will you get to know other artists, which can only enhance your own creativity, but you might get to know some new friends. To find these groups, check out your local paper or browse Meet Up.
4. Get a change of scenery.
Sometimes all you need is to go to the coffee shop to work on your novel or go to the library to read that new book. In many cases, the change of scenery will boost your mood and increase your productivity. And who knows? You might just see something that inspires that next scene in your novel.
Well, there you go, fellow hermits. I hope this will help you get through the winter without completely isolating yourselves from the world.
That being said, there is definitely a time for sitting on the couch with a blanket and binge watching shows on Netflix or reading a great book or curling up with your laptop and working on your novel. The important thing is to make sure you aren’t just doing that. Go out and be a part of the world every now and then!
So now I’m going to take my own advice and head to my favorite coffee shop to write. 🙂