In The Bleak Midwinter ~ or ~ how I get through the winter blues

Festivities over it’s time to focus on getting through the two or three months of winter still to come. For some people this is the most miserable time of year and in some respects I share the sentiment. The decorations have come down, the days are short, dark and gloomy and there’s a feeling of eminent blizzards in the air. It feels like we should be hunkering down and readying the supplies in the face of the storm and as I write this there’s a grey cloud over my head but every cloud has a silver lining and that is the only thing keeping me from sinking into the gloomy hole of depression.

Pay day for me is a very long way off, too far away to be spending out on anything but the essentials but most people who do not own a billion dollar multinational company or work in the Square Mile are in the same boat. Fuel prices are threatening another rise even though action groups are lobbying the government to cut fuel duty, should prices rise the way ‘they’ are suggesting many will find it hard to actually get to work because they won’t be able to afford to fill their cars up and public transport is out because if you live more than a few miles from where you work it’s actually more expensive (and inconvenient) than owning a car. Economists are predicting another slow year possibly even another recession but still I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

What is helping me get through the toil and trouble the carnage and turmoil? The fact that nothing lasts forever, except possibly death but as that is inevitable and even more depressing I’ll skip quietly by that subject. The knowledge that the days are slowly getting longer and lighter, the world’s economic problems will get sorted out and one day reality TV will lose it’s appeal (at least I hope that will happen in my lifetime) is getting me through. We all face hard times ahead but it’s nowhere near the problems folk faced seventy years ago when the world was caught up in global conflict.

For a musician and songwriter hard times are often the most inspirational and I know I’m going through a bit of a creative renaissance. My creative juices are flowing freely with cynicism and tongue-in-cheek satire and I am finding myself wanting to actually practice my guitar playing much more than I have in recent years. It’s a welcome distraction from what is a mostly mundane existence of travelling up and down the motorway every week to spend my days stuck in a stuffy office speaking to customers I hate, work colleagues that for the most part bore me and living day by day with the serious lack of anything Rock’n’Roll.

So my top tip for beating the winter blues is find something to take you away from the stresses of money and work (or lack of). For some this will be music, for others it could be reading, writing or painting, cooking or beating the crap out of a punch bag. Once you’ve found something that takes you away from it all for just a little while a day it will help. Just don’t spend that time watching TV because the news will depress you and reality TV will turn you mind to mush.

Keep smiling,