Friday, December 14, 2012

Heaven knows I'm miserable now

The other week was a really shitty week. Nothing incredibly bad happened to me or anything like that. I just kind of bounced from one shitty thing to another and it left me feeling flat. Actually, if I am to be totally honest, it left me in a blubbering, snotty ball. Have you ever seen a goth, or even a demi-goth like me, crying? Picture something like this:


Not a good look. Not to mention a massive waste of eyeliner and mascara.

I know that life is full of up and downs and what-not and that we all go through these dark periods. But that doesn't stop it from being sucky when it is happening to you. Especially when it is happening around Christmas, which is one of my favourite times of year.

And while, back when I was a teenager and even in my 20s, I perversely kind of enjoyed wallowing in my own black pit of despair, now I've got stuff to do! I really don't have the time, or the appetite, for anything so self-destructive and self-indulgent.

Now, instead of grabbing a tub of ice-cream, listening to Morrisey for hours on end and watching episodes of Felicity until I literally can't cry anymore (or until I can't handle another second of Felicity flip-flopping over Ben and Noel), I have a few little things that I like to do to ease me out of my funk and back onto smiley street.

1. Hang with my cats
Pets are awesome. They are way better than people. They don't judge you. They don't care if you aren't totally kicking it in your career, your haircut is a bit dodgy or if you stay in every night eating cereal and updating your Tumblr. They just want food, sleep and cuddles. So long as you don't forget the food, they will give you all the love you could ask for.

So whenever I come home after work, all miserable and sooky, I like to spend time with my cats - and pretty soon stuff starts to seem a little bit less crappy.

Because how can a world be bad when you are looking at these furry little faces?

It can't. Fact.

Pretty sure this will work with dogs too. Dogs are fabulous at lavishing undivided attention on you and acting like you are the most important and exciting person in the entire world. Kinda hard to stay stroppy if you are getting that much pet love.

Don't have a kitty or a dog? No worries. Even though I have two of my own, I still like to give random cats that live on my street a good little belly rub and lots of pats. I also like going up to strange (and hopefully friendly) dogs on the street or in the park and giving them lots of pats too. It makes me feel lovely.

Pets truly do rock.

2. Do some yoga
When you are all stressy and down, sometimes it is hard just to get out of bed let alone do some kind of exercise.

But experience has taught me that I will feel soooo much better if I make the effort to drag myself onto my mat and do some yoga - even half an hour can help immensely. Yoga is great because it allows you to focus on your breath and connect with your body which has an immediate calming effect. It stops the chatter in your mind and slows everything right down. Plus you are doing something positive for yourself and your well-being which is uplifting in itself.

While I choose to do yoga as my go-to form of exercise, really doing any kind of physical activity that allows you to get out of your head and give you some space will help. I used to go running, do some boxing or take a dance class and they all worked too. But even just going for a walk would do the job. Just move your body. Exercising can also have the added benefit of physically removing yourself from your usual environment which starts a shift in your mood and helps you get to a better place.

3. Retail therapy
Big surprise, right?

I think the reason retail therapy works for me is that it reminds me of some of the good stuff that comes with being an adult - spending money on useless, pretty things. And given that most of my grumps are usually the product of dealing with all the crap that comes with being a grown-up, indulging in some of good things can bring me a little bit of happy.

Or at the very least it will mean that I can look cute while I am depressed. Win!

It just so happened that Black Milk Clothing was having a massive sale on the first day of my crappy week. I already had a couple of their swimsuits but had always coveted their sexy-ass leggings. And given that I was a blubbering mess and in desperate need of a pick-me-up, I thought I would spoil myself with a couple of pairs (well they were half-price so really it would have been silly to just buy one pair).

And I love them so! Especially these Bone Machine 2.0 ones. Meow!!!

Yes, they break the "leggings are not pants" rule. But when leggings are this awesome, who really cares? Plus, they make me feel rad - so job well done leggings!

4. Watch one of my go-to dvds
There are three particular DVDs that I like to watch when I am feeling stressed and/or sad. And each one has a specific purpose.

When I am feeling unsure of the direction that my life is taking or thinking that I should be more successful than I am, I like to watch Reality Bites.

Watching the life of promising, hopeful and ridiculously gorgeous Lelaina (played by Winona Ryder) completely fall apart and then seeing her eventually crawl out from under the bell jar never fails to give me a happy. (Actually, all we know at the end of the film is that she ends up with Troy. But I like to think that she also finds the perfect job - one that is both challenging and provides her with creative freedom and satisfaction.)

If, however, I am being stomped on by an evil oppressor (usually a boss-figure of some kind) or think that my job is just generally a bit awful, I will watch The Devil Wears Prada. Because next to working for Miranda Priestly - most jobs start to look pretty ok.

(Mind you, my job doesn't come with free designer clothes and trips to Paris. Erm - perhaps it is best not to over-think these things.)

Finally, whenever I am feeling like the odd one out at work and like no one expects me to succeed because I don't really fit in (which is how I feel most of the time at work), I like to watch Legally Blonde. And this is exactly how I was feeling the other week.

Even though I am not the perky, blonde, Barbie doll type, I can totally relate to Elle Wood's character in that movie. And seeing her kick total butt makes me feel totally sparky and motivated to kick some butt of my own.

My husband is well-aware of the magical effects that these three movies have. As soon as I came home, close to tears and looking exhausted, he handed me a cat, ordered my favourite vegan pizza and put Legally Blonde in the DVD player. He is definitely a keeper.

By watching Legally Blonde, spending time with my lovely kitties (and, yes - my husband too), doing a whole lot of yoga and dropping cash online on some sweet-ass leggings, after a few days I was able to drag myself out of my funk and got back to being the awesome me that I am.

Now everything is wonderful again. And just in time for Christmas too! Hooray!!!!!!!!

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