We’ve survived the first storms from El Nino and elsewhere, but as we know, winter is really just beginning. There are a lot of days ahead when we might be stuck in the house because of the weather. You might get gripped by cabin fever, that restless, anxious, irritable feeling that we sometimes get when we’re stuck inside for too long. Making your jewelry can be a great way to alleviate that feeling, and move your business along while you're at it!
The first thing to do is recognize that you have this condition! Cabin fever, which typically happens when you’re inside for a long time, often due to extreme outdoor weather conditions, can cause extreme irritability, restlessness, boredom, and even depression. It can even wreak havoc with your sleep patterns, and worse yet, can affect your relationships with people you're 'stuck' in the house with.
The good news is, doing your art helps! And what a great time to teach yourself new techniques and methods, whether they be related to the art itself or to improving your small business. Such activities help in several ways:
• They channel your restlessness into the physical motion of the work.
• They provide you a way to “get away” from everyone else around you without actually leaving the space.
• Creating and expanding your skill levels provides a productive, creative outlet for your negative feelings.
• Focusing on the beautiful designs you can make or working on your business helps switch up the routine and re-routes boredom.
• Hands-on art has been scientifically proven to ward off symptoms of depression for a number of reasons, including that it helps break negative cycles of rumination, increases serotonin production, and serves as meditation.
Any attention to your art and business during cabin fever will help, but here are some specific ideas to help you make the most of being inside this winter:
• Take on more challenging projects or learning activities. This helps to entertain your mind.
• Work with your favorite materials. The tactile and visual pleasure of the work will help break the monotony of cabin fever.
• Institute a “quiet work time” in your home. This gives everyone a break from each other even though you’re all stuck inside.
• Make something for someone you love. It reminds you to feel love and show it through your talent, despite the cabin fever.
• Connect with colleagues and/or customers via the internet and/or e-mail to get/give helpful advice. Working actively with others online can help you feel like you’re “getting outside” even though you’re still at home.
• Bring nature into your work space where possible. Move your chair close to a window, set up some indoor plants, and do your work near those natural inspirations.
• Make yourself something really beautiful. In that way you can embrace the cold darkness of winter, and comfort yourself through the storms.
Have you ever experienced cabin fever? In what ways do you think designing/creating or working on a new business/learning focus can help? Share your stories in the comments below as inspiration for others going through this tough experience!
Until Next Time,