Here’s to the End of Long Gray Days – Video

Winter is hard for me. I can’t even properly enjoy the holiday season, because I know that afterward January and February relentlessly follow. Then comes that time of year that turns the days at once short but endless, the nights long and empty. Gray, listless days, when the weather seems to have a personal vendetta against humanity, and even on the warmer days the city seems bleak and covered in grime. Gaunt trees, crumbling pavement – things you don’t notice in other seasons seem to be all there are to see in winter.

In the past few years I’ve been trying to work on strategies to actively kick my brain out of its winter funk. This year I went somewhere warmer for a week – so I had that to look forward to since November, and the exposure to sun and flowers reminded me that winter does truly end.

I’ve discussed other coping strategies with friends – one said that she takes time in the winter morning to enjoy hot flavored teas, things she won’t drink in warmer months. I know many people curl up next to fires, delve into epic novels, spend more time with friends. For me, making things is a good coping strategy. Writing, editing, making my living space as beautiful as possible, those things are satisfying when the days are at their most gray. It’s hard though. Hard to stay motivated, hard to keep going. Sometimes hard to get out of bed.

I shot some video recently that I’ve edited together into a screenshot of my mind on these last desaturated days before spring. It’s not the normal OohStLou fare, it’s more a personal project and form of self expression. If you suffer from seasonal despondency, you’ll probably get it.

If you have any tips and tricks for making it through the winter, I’d love to hear them.

3 years ago


  1. I just kind of survive the winter, I think. I try to pretend that it’s not really winter yet for as long as possible. I have milestones once I can’t deny winter anymore. I don’t love Thanksgiving or Christmas, but they’re kind of a diversion, I guess. New Year’s Eve is nice. After New Year’s, I’m set for a couple of weeks. And then it’s like “oh, Groundhog Day coming up.” When Groundhog Day gets here, it’s “OK, only 6 more weeks of this crap, no matter what the groundhog says.” Right now, it’s “thank the gods that February is over” time. March is still winter here, but at least it’s less winter. The overnight in-case-of-snow parking ban ends on April 1, so I consider myself to have survived winter at that point.

    I like that the sun starts coming back in January. I try to hold onto the fact that even though it’s dark, it’s a bit less dark every day. On Doctor Who, Matt Smith called Christmas “halfway out of the dark.” I thought that was great.

    None of this stops me from hating winter, or wishing I lived somewhere warmer. But it gets me through. I’m glad you’re getting through, too. I love that you went to Savannah. Your photos made me smile. It looked amazing, and it was nice to think of you there soaking up the sunshine.

    1. I like your idea of milestones, Heidi. I think the fact that we’re now into March will help me quite a bit, mentally. It may still look or feel like winter, but March is when the flowers start to come (even if they are stinky old forsythia).

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