I’ve been feeling very pessimistic lately. I’ve been angry and depressed. I had a few days of being cranky on twitter while browsing blogs. For some reason I’ve felt this need to cry for the past week or two, but I can’t seem to do it. I don’t even have to feel sad about anything particular; I just get this feeling like a good cry is called for, but it doesn’t come out. And the smallest annoyances make me want to start screaming incoherently: no words, just noise.
Certainly there have been plenty of things exacerbating these feelings (creeping on Facebook, struggling with my novel, feeling lonely), but as much as I could write up a whole list of things to blame, the real root of the problem is me. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make myself feel better, both small and large, and I wanted to share my favorites. There are some tried and true methods and some that I haven’t done but which seem promising.
- Take a long bubble bath. This one is a good temporary fix, and if I do it before bed, it’s perfect for helping fall asleep. I go into the bathroom with zines or a book and my phone, set them beside the bath, and start filling the tub. Even in the summer my baths end up being warm because cold, or even cool, bubble baths just don’t seem right. I make sure to add plenty of bubbles (currently strawberry-scented Hello Kitty) and let them foam up a bunch so I have lots of backup bubbles when I climb in and pop a lot of them. I get in and stay in as long as I need to, listening to Pandora on my phone and reading. – “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” / Sylvia Plath
- Get out of the house. I don’t have to go far. Even going out on the lawn with a blanket and a bag full of assorted items to keep me occupied can be good enough. In a shady corner of the lawn, I’ll spread out the blanket, settle down, and do much the same thing as I would in the bath: read and listen to Pandora. Sometimes I’ll ride my bike and go farther than just outside the house, though since we’ve moved I’ve been more hesitant for some reason. One goal is to start taking more walks and using my film camera. – “I have a room all to myself; it is nature.” / Henry David Thoreau
- Get creative. This can be anything. This can be baking, writing, planning projects, whatever I come up with. And I need to make sure I don’t force boundaries on myself; I work on what strikes me, not what I feel like I “should” be doing. On days I just can’t seem to write any of my book, rather than be too hard on myself, I just try to do something else worthwhile. Lately, I’ve been back to crocheting, working on Twinkie Chan’s cupcake hat while I watch Netflix. I may try to turn the TV off for this more often, though, and try working with music instead. My favorite part about this idea is that it always helps me be both positive and productive. – “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” / Maya Angelou
I feel like all of these things feed my soul (to get a little spiritual on you) better than what I’ve been doing lately: binge-watching TV shows and wasting far too much time mindlessly browsing the vast wasteland of the internet. I’ve already done a respectable job of escaping tumblr for the most part.
Of course, coming up with a way to feel better is only half the battle; after finding ideas, I need to actually implement them. Another struggle I’ve been facing lately is getting motivated. It took me weeks to go sit on the lawn by myself. I find it far easier to lie on the couch, occasionally pushing “play” on Netflix, and browsing Etsy than to get out supplies (and inspiration) for any project.
Some other quick ideas I have in mind: carry an ametrine, take a nap, play with the cat, eat a bunch of watermelon, do a Tarot spread, turn on the living room fairy lights, clean the house, listen to silly pop music, make a gratitude list.
Do you have any other suggestions for getting positive? What are your suggestions for finding motivation to start?