I can get pretty blue. Depression has been keeping me company on and off me at least since I was a teen, I guess you could say we go waaaaaaayyyyy back. Yes I have lots of other more serious tools to help me get along in hard times, and we will be covering those too, these are just some of the more lighthearted and easy tricks I use to get out of feeling low and easily move toward a better feeling.
The real trick though is to break the somber spell by actually reaching for something beyond the bubble, because let’s be honest it does not always feel possible when you are truly down in the dumps!
Hope maybe some of mine can help you too!
1. Hangout with my fish.
I have a betta fish (my very first fish in fact, who knew they were such cool and engaging pets) and he always cheers me up. His little curious face always coming to say hello, the fun of getting to know his quirky little personality, the soothing fluidity of his spectacular form in every graceful movement. He is my Everyday Personal Ambassador of Feeling Better, and for that I am grateful.
(Just please be sure that if you opt for fish therapy that you take some time to learn what the little guys need to thrive. They are living beings, and they have specific requirements, that aren’t always being considered in the beautiful Pinterest-worthy images or by the kids working at big box pet shops.)
2. Put on a onesie.
This is about as silly as it gets and I love it.
One of my dear friends who also struggles with depression used to have a handwritten note on her mirror “put on a chicken suit” is what it said, a little snippet from therapy that we would laugh about. Is it any wonder that this is the friend that introduced me to the pleasure of onesie wearing. It’s hard to take yourself over seriously when you are all snuggled up in a super soft ridiculous Leopard(yes that is what I have) outfit. Omg, Sloth, Flying Squirrel! Is that a Narwhall!! Wow, I’d like to be that adorable Pink Dinosaur.
It’s not going to fix any of your problems, but lightening up and feeling better really helps everything.
Ps. bedroom dance parties while onesie wearing is highly recommended
3. Go to a dog park.
Even when I don’t have my own dog friends to hang out with a simple walk to the dog park can do wonders in lightening my mood. If something as simple as a romp around the park can bring them so much joy, maybe I can take a cue. They just love to party, and their unabashed enthusiasm is contagious. I literally have never not felt at least a few degrees better (the trick is getting there;).
4. Read an Olivers Jeffers book.
I might cry before the feeling better comes (but isn’t that so often the way).
One of my favorite people introduced me to the author by gifting me with this book Lost and found and by the end he was one of my favorites. Heartfelt, sweet, and whimsical these books are pure magic, the illustration is delightful and makes my heart smile!
The Heart in a Bottle, How to Catch a Star, and The Way Back Home are all favourites. Oh and Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You will Go and Sneetches on the Beaches were my go-to’s before that. Do you have any childhood favorites that brighten your bad days we should know about?
5. Make silly art, especially that I might be bad at.
Again with the theme of not taking myself too seriously, and just letting myself play with permission to act a fool. If I can let myself get over the self-imposed pressure of “making good work” and just get pulled into the colors, the textures and the mediums at hand amazing things can happen (on paper and to my mood)!
Need some tips on where to start?
Silly doodles- things to make yourself laugh. Take a minute and pick a color that speaks to this moment, let yourself get lost in the flow of marks on the page. Even better try it with your non-dominant hand, helps to loose control and there are interesting links to the unconscious when we do this. The internet is brimming with ideas on this topic; these are just a few of my go-to’s.
Check out our new call for submissions “Ghosts and Demons and Shadows! Oh my!” If you’d like to try your hand at one of our creative outlets!
6.Buy an exciting shade of lipstick and sport it around.
My last was a bold shade of purple called Run the World and it is hard not to feel at least fresh and fabulous when I wear it (even if that happens to be home alone;). Obviously, not everyone is into makeup, so I have also had good experiences with crazy sox. Nothing is like that feeling of slipping on a brand new fresh pair of sox and if they can make you giggle and strangers smile, well that is pretty much a super power I am happy to have in my arsenal. I want a pair of these Shark Bite ones, and these chicken sox are the silliest, just take a gander it’s amazing what you can find. Or if you are keeping your super powers under-wraps you could go for some goofy undies too.
And while retail therapy can be a bit of a slippery slope, I think if you can be mindful about giving yourself a spontaneous little treat then no harm no fowl.
7.Watch a favorite cartoon.
Adventure Time is my absolute, very favorite for this. It is the right blend of foolish and smart, nonsense and real-talk to work some magic on my mind. Plus it makes me happy that people are so free to make obscurely amazing animated art and it has a huge and appreciating audience! Yaaaaaaaaaaa:)
They are pretty much all my favourite, but Thank You, Food Chain, and the More You Moe, are all especially special to me. I know for sure you can find them all on iTunes or more clips like this little gem.
8.Get a dose of Bycrom.
I keep some of R.Khan’s art around the house to raise morale on the regular. But sometimes I need a higher dose to boost my mood, or at least feel like someone else gets what it’s like to struggle against the mundane. Who wouldn’t want to live vicariously through having Conan the Barbarian as a spirit guide?
Get your fix here, or stay tuned to Massive Phobia for some special appearances from our fave barbarian!!
Whoever it is that is going to make you smile. By tuning into other beings on an entirely different vibe, I can get out of my head. By watching them just chill and adorably go through life not bothered, I get a little space from myself. Sometimes just having a little break-from-self, gives space from being pushed right up against my bad feelings, and gives a chance to breathe.
A completely engrossing little world, really rich in sound, hidden treasures just for the fun of it (curiosity is rewarded!), and loads of adorable, quirky creatures (which you are collecting as cards which makes my inner child happy!). The music is incredible, dreamy and a little bizarre. The puzzles are enough of a challenge to demand and command my attention, while easy enough to still be fun. My only complaint is that it is not long enough!!! If anyone else has any ideas, I will be exploring the rest of the Anomia universe, and I would seriously love if they did more with this realm.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.