Tomorrow, one of my very best friends in the world is leaving this city and going back to another all the way across the country. I’ll be seeing him tonight for our own brand of “goodbye” — some serious barbeque, a few hefeweizens and a horror movie — so I am, admittedly, not having a very happy morning. I also had to go to the dentist, but I suppose that’s just a small crack in a broken windshield. But on my way back from the dentist, I realized I was listening to exclusively music that reminds me of this person, presumably an effort of my subconscious to cheer myself. It got me thinking, however, about the ways in which we all try to comfort ourselves when we’re having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Everyone has off days, but you know those ones that just feel really, really disheartening? As though waking up was simply the wrong decision and you should’ve slept through until the day after because you’re so bummed out? Well, unfortunately, due to work, school and our overall sleep cycles, chances are that we can’t take the day off. We have to face it because it’s there and it’s going to persistently knock on our doors no matter how long we avoid looking at it through the peephole and opening the door. So, Everyone Including Me: let’s think of some great ways to make ourselves not feel so much like we’ve been steamrolled by our rough days, shall we?
1. Be Put-Together… Looking
Even when you’re thoroughly miserable, you sometimes feel like anybody who sees your face will simply know that you’re not doing so well. I know that when I’m unhappy, the color drains from my face even more than usual and that my eyes don’t seem to open quite as widely as when I’m in a good mood. In order to combat this, I do just a couple of quick things like curling my eyelashes, rubbing on a bit of cream blush and putting on something moderately cute. But if it’s a truly terrible day, I put a lot more effort in (today I’m curling my hair, wearing a full face of makeup and walking in heels). It’s not that I feel obligated to look nice or something, it’s just that when you know that you look nice and put-together, you don’t feel quite as jumbled up and sad inside. And to make your insides literally feel better you can…
2. Eat Your Favorite Food
Normally, I advise most people to cook for themselves when they need to calm their nerves. However, one of the best and most effortless ways to comfort yourself? Go out and get your favorite food. Yes, using food to cheer yourself up is not necessarily a healthy thing, but if you only reserve it for your terrible days, it won’t become a dependence and will still retain its helpful power. My favorite food (as if my bio hasn’t made it clear) is avocado. I love it more than any food, period. And I’m going out to get BBQ tonight, sure, but on my way, I’m going to pick up an avocado to be fried for me along with my meal. But if you need more company than calories, perhaps you should…
3. Call somebody
After feeling this bummed out, I decided to chat with a friend of mine from California over FaceTime for a while. We ate lunch “together,” said hello to one another’s pets, and overall had a lovely conversation. I definitely needed it because I’ve been feeling fairly disconnected and, in having such a close friend leave from here, I feel even more lonely. Even if it’s a simple “hello, how are you?” type of deal, shooting somebody who cares about you a call is one of the best things you can do for your day. And afterward, maybe you’ll be able to…
Sure, smiling may feel excruciating and false, but even forced smiling is proven to help your mood. Even if you’re really unhappy, maintaining an expression and body language associated with being happy can improve how you’re actually feeling. (Side note: look up pictures of animals like this sloth smiling will also help, I promise.) But if you really can’t bring yourself to smile, let yourself feel the full impact…
5. Listen to those songs and cry your eyes out
It’s hard not to link emotional experiences to music; nostalgia is a mysterious yet incredibly strong emotion, after all. I personally haven’t been able to listen to Explosions in the Sky without crying in seven years, but on a less rational front, I also tear up whenever I hear “Say My Name” or “Spice World.” Seriously. But nevertheless, when you know that you can’t keep in your emotions any longer no matter how much you want to, it’s often best to just let yourself experience every bit of how you’re feeling before the day is done. I’m presently making a mix for my friend that will undoubtedly make us both cry, but we’ll also both smile afterward because we love those songs.
If possible, make two playlists: one for the emotional, intense crying time and one for the next few days that only has incredibly cheerful songs that you can listen to over the next few days to rehabilitate your mood. My happy playlist includes a lot of Beatles, Air, FlyLo and oldies on it; what would yours have, Lovelies?
Oh, and if you desperately need something to smile about, even if you’ve already seen this video a dozen times, you should watch it once more:
These, of course, are just some of the ways in which I usually cope, but I acknowledge that they might not help everybody because we’re all impacted by different things. So, my dear Lovelies, how do you make yourself feel better when the world feels like it’s temporarily coming apart?