UNITED STATES—Winter is here people, and the blues are starting to set in. So many people call this time of year somewhat depressing, and I can understand why. In some parts of the country, it is brutally cold, and I mean brutally cold, so much to the point that if you’re outside more than 30 minutes, frostbite will set in, and it could kill you. Yes, the cold temperatures can kill you.

It is not just the weather that has people frustrated and solemn, but you have to endure the bevy of bills that are coming in the mail from all that holiday spending that you did. The debt you incurred now has to be paid off. There is a problem for many Americans, they don’t have that money. That means you’re scrambling to find funds to pay the mere minimum on those credit card bills so you’re not falling behind or facing late fees.

The good thing for many people is depending on your companies’ policies it is that the New Year ushers in vacation time and personal time off or paid holidays as many of us in corporate America call it. You can use that time to take a day off if you feel like the walls are closing in on you or there is just so much to juggle that you need a bit of a breather.

That brings me to my next point, there is a bit of sadness that is ushered in this time of year. The holidays are over and all those celebrations and events with family and friends have stopped. So, what does this mean? It means loneliness has crept in for some Americans and that can lead to depression. Depression is a real issue and for some people they don’t see it or believe they have it. Depression is when your emotional state lingers more than two weeks where things that you normally do, things that once brought you joy, you’re no longer doing.

It is not easy to get out of those ‘winter blues’ as some people call it, but you have to find some sense of hope, appreciation and fun in life. I know for me; my escape is cinema and film. I will admit for a significant period of time I did not creative write, I was so focused on work and other commitments I put the things that brought me the most joy on the backburner. However, I decided in 2024, I would no longer allow that. I don’t care how chaotic of a day I’m having, when I have an hour or two of free time, I’m disconnecting from everything and I’m going to write. Whether its ideas bursting in my brain and placing them into a journal or actually writing stories on my computer, I’m going to do some sort of writing.

When you do what you love it brings a smile and joy to your face, in some of the most difficult times. You might be encountering the blues at the moment, but you can change that. Whether it is by doing things you love or actually seeking out a professional to speak to, there is help if you need it. Do not be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.