Feeling under the weather? Creative output plummeted? Maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something!
My energy levels have remained remarkably high so far this winter but this week I hit what I have come to realise is my inevitable slump. Suddenly I can barely drag myself out of bed and that extra flight of stairs to the studio looks as unscalable as Everest. Sound familiar?
I used to panic when I suddenly plummeted into this annual cycle. I'm normally energetic and positive so this sudden swing can feel a lot like depression.
These days I'm rather more sanguine about it all because I know it IS just a cycle and it will pass.
I've learnt to honour this cycle and support it as much as my worldly commitments will allow.
I look at my schedule and postpone anything that can possibly be postponed.
Of the projects I simply must work on, I try and figure out the path of least resistance.
Is there a rote or low–energy task I can do now to keep everything moving forward? (Preferably ones I can do sitting by the fire!)
Recognise the value of 'down' time
If I must tackle something big, I break it down into the smallest possible chunks.
In the time I've gained from postponing things, I sleep and rest more, keep warm and eat well.
I also recognise that this low-energy time is a time for taking things in; for filling the creative well as Julia Cameron would say. I watch videos on TED or YouTube, I research artists I'm interested in, I revel in Pinterest.
My body is exhausted but my soul begins to slowly refill.
"Sometimes, if we don't allow ourselves these necessary periods of Incubation, (as well as sleep, good food, rest and play) our body throws a wobbly and we get ill. By doing this, our psyche hopes that we'll get to spend some down time, lying on the sofa and thinking about important stuff; the kind of stuff we often don't give ourselves chance to think about."
A rather serious John Cleese talks about making space for creativity
It's important than we recognise that these 'down' times might actually be as important as the 'up' ones, because they're the times when we process everything that's been going on during our energetic phase.
How could you adjust your timetable to take advantage of seasonal highs and mitigate the effects of the lows?
Read more about how to Maximize Your Creative Energy and.get this cool FREE tool to record your energy cycles!