As a native Californian, I am proud for having survived my 25th winter in the northern hemisphere! Especially since, this winter most of my days have been spent holed up alone in my studio.

After a long, extra cold winter, I ready for warmer weather. But up here in the mountains, spring means slushy snow, mud and more patience…

While waiting for shorts-weather, I find myself daydreaming about the beach, feeling lazy and wanting to ‘play’ instead of work. Normally, I am an industrious person, so why am I feeling blue, overwhelmed and so unproductive? I must be suffering from ‘Spring Fever’.

  • In the dictionary, the definition of spring fever is: “A feeling of restlessness, excitement, or laziness brought on by the coming of spring.

Long days of rain or snow and the lack of outdoor activities can make us feel restless. Artists also have the added challenge of working alone most of the time. No wonder we want to stare out of our studio or office window on a beautiful sunny day instead of work!

  • Medical research has attributed the phenomenon of spring fever in humans to seasonal changes.
  • This is caused by the realignment of the body’s chemistry with sunlight.
  • Changes during spring can readjust body chemistry, specifically the internal body clock that responds to sunlight.
  • Statistically, at least half of the people who live in the northern latitudes of USA and Canada experience the symptoms of Spring fever more intensely.
  • Longer sunny days seem to have a direct impact on people’s psychological and physiological responses to the passage of the seasons.
  • Spring fever is not just in the head. It is caused by an adjustment in body chemistry and seasonal biology.

Here are some ideas to help combat Spring Fever:

  • Put all that day dreaming to good use! Use this time to create in your head
  • Give yourself permission to take a break. Most artists are workaholics and don’t know when to stop
  • Sign up for a workshop. This is a great way to expand your artistic knowledge. I love workshops!
  • Another way to meet and network with other like minded people
  • Try Social Media & find out why artists need it! Twitter and Facebook are easy ways to meet other artists and promote your art or business.
  • Read a good book
  • Take a trip
  • Get out in the sunshine and get some much needed Vitamin D.Science proves we all need fresh air and sun
  • Take time and enjoy the last bit of winter –Take a walk
  • Try skiing
  • Reconnect with friends
  • Being an artist doesn’t have to be a ‘solitary confinement’ sentence!
  • Try a new hobby other than the work you do. Example: I knitted a scarf
  • Plant a garden
  • Spring clean your studio! This is important! A messy, cluttered studio or office adds to the feeling of dread a clean workspace makes for better productivity!
  • Check Your Work Habits! This is a good time to re-think and refine your work habits


The above list is helping me and I am feeling productive again. I have taken some much needed breaks, cleaned my studio and even went downhill skiing. Now I am ready to get back to painting.

If you find yourself feeling blue or overwhelmed and unproductive, don’t forget that social connections are one of the best deterrents to depression, anxiety, and even disease. Study after study proves that people with strong social connections live longer and are happier along the way. No wonder why Twitter and Facebook are so popular for artists.

PS. Let’s meet on Twitterand on Google Plus, Pinterestand join in the fun at Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page! Please checkout my art too, or find me on Instagram lorimcneeartist. ~Lori
To read more about Spring Fever visit, Suite101: What is Spring Fever?: Body Chemistry and Seasonal Biology

by Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses. Lori is also a member of the CBS Entertainment Tonight & The Insider Tweet Team.

8 thoughts on “Feeling Unproductive? How to Combat Spring Fever

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Feeling Unproductive in the Studio or Office? How to Combat Spring Fever | Lori McNee Artist --

  2. Miranda says:

    Great tips Lori! I especially like this one: “Give yourself permission to take a break.” I find that even when I physically take a break, my brain doesn’t get the message and won’t turn off. My breaks end up being doubly frustrating because I’m thinking of all the things I could be doing! I find that reading a good, fictional novel is the perfect way to turn off and relax.

    • Lori McNee says:

      My brain doesn’t quiet down either, Miranda! And if I work too late (like right now), I go to bed thinking about work…so, I have to remove myself from my work entirely to ‘take a break’. Do you know a good book??? lol
      Thanks for the comment – Lori :-)

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  4. Lori McNee says:

    Ditto for me, Simon. But, I sometimes get my best work done late at night – but, then I am slow going the next day. There has to be a happy medium!
    Thanks for the visit- Lori

  5. Pingback: Artistic Temperament - What to do When it Strikes! | Lori McNee Artist

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