I feel sad frequently. I try to mostly chalk this up to the fact that I’ve been clinically depressed on some level for many years. A bit of it is beyond my control. But I also freely admit that I am more of a glass half-empty rather than glass half-full kind of girl, even on a good day. So because I have a fair amount of what I call “bad days” I have learned some things about myself and how I cope with these days. I thought I would share some gems of knowledge that I have learned along my way.
Some things I know that I shouldn’t do when I am having a bad day.
Play with scissors: We all know we shouldn’t run with them. They should have also warned us to not pick them up when feeling even slightly depressed. Why? Because cutting bangs, trimming bangs, or taking the scissors to your hair in any way when you’re in a bad mood generally doesn’t end well. (note: I did this very thing recently. And yes, I am unhappy with the results.) Shorter bangs will not make your life better. In fact, they will merely give you something else to add to the things you currently hate about yourself at this moment. However, if you decide to ignore my cautionary tale and get scissor happy, I will concede that having bangs that you sincerely hate will temporarily switch your focus away from the feeling bad that you’ve put on 5 pounds. And that your favorite jeans now more closely resemble sausage casings filled with your thighs, than the fine premium denim you paid too much for on a “skinny day.”
Step on a scale: Anyone who knows me well is aware that I would never do this. But others might, so I put this here as a warning. Never, ever, weigh yourself on a bad day. In fact, throw your scale away. Get rid of it. It is evil and serves no good purpose. Unless you’re trying to stay in a particular weight class – and most of us are not.
Drink wine: I’m on the fence when I say this, because when handled properly, wine can be a great thing – minus the possible hangover the following morning – or how much you spend on wine. I am a Grocery Outlet kind of woman. If you’re the expensive bottle of wine type of chick, you’re screwed. But anyway, the cost of the bottle could be the least of your worries. Unfortunately, the “proper” handling of wine isn’t generally the issue. It’s the behaviors that can accompany the “improper” handling of wine that can cause the residual grief I will now discuss.
Things I know I should not pair with wine on a bad day.
Scissors: See above mentioned reasons. So hide them. Better yet, ask your children to “put them away.” This will never be in a spot they belong. You will never be able to find them.
The phone: This can sometimes be a good thing, but more often bad. My best advice is to call someone who won’t take great delight in telling you all the idiotic things you said during your wine-induced venting session.
Texting: This is the granddaddy of all things to avoid while drinking wine on a bad day. First, it becomes quickly apparent to the recipient that your senses might be a wee bit compromised. This happens when your texts are riddled with typos, autocorrects that make no sense, and odd one word replies. If that isn’t enough to dissuade you, then this might. There is a written transcript of the dumbass things you typed. And never, unless you’re a glutton for punishment, reread your conversation(s) the next day. Mortification quickly follows and will make any hang-over way worse than it was when you crawled out of bed and grabbed your phone. So maybe you should have your kids “put away” your phone as well.
Social media: Facebook is easy for me to skip. Not a fan. However, I do enjoy a good Tweet or two. The positive is that you can delete something you tweeted in that ultra-reflective deep moment you felt you needed to share with strangers. By the way, I am pretty certain that no one gives two hoots about what those random song lyrics mean to you. Unless you happen to “move” the one other person on the planet who also believes that those words hold some sort of borderline spiritual meaning. You don’t want to meet that person anyway. They are as messed up as you possibly are. So it bears repeating, maybe you should have your kids “put away” your phone.
Some better activity choices on a bad day.
Funny movies: Horrible Bosses. This movie makes me laugh for all sorts of inappropriate reasons. Watch and then rewind the scenes that make you laugh. I do this several times.
Sitcoms: New Adventures of Old Christine. It’s hilarious. Particularly the episode in which Christine declares herself a 5 dating a 10. Watch it. Just trust me. Same with “That 70’s Show.” Although, it might make you want to smoke a bowl. But refrain.
Online shopping: Only if you can afford it. Otherwise just place things in online “bags” and dream of the day you can click “place this order.”
Heavy lifting: However, if you happen to have a crappy lifting day, you may be reduced to tears in your garage with old school Metallica playing in the background, as loud as it can, on your iPod dock.
Run: If you can. I used to. If you’re not a runner, this will make you curse yourself for every miserable stride, telling yourself you are pathetic, and a cardio loser. And then you'll spend the rest of the time reminding yourself that your cardio abilities are poor because you are a weightlifter, goddamn it.
Write: If you’re a writer. Or even if you think you are. And I think I am.
Loud music: I often pair this with writing. Of course I gravitate towards songs that make me want to cry. I may tell myself I’m “self reflecting.” In actuality I’m more often feeling sorry for myself. And no, sometimes it’s just not healthy to sit and rehash every bad decision you’ve ever made, while listening to Jim Croce or Tracy Chapman, with tears rolling down on to your desk – that you will then notice how filthy it is when you smear your hand across the surface – which will inevitably make you feel like a terrible housekeeper. Don’t go down this path. Stay away from your dust covered mini-blinds, shelving, window sills and baseboards. This is not the time! Anyway, avoid this secondary problem by choosing from an array of old metal bands instead.
Finally, one simple request.
Since I never listen to my own advice and certainly no one else’s, I’ve been known to employ all of the things listed above -- sometimes simultaneously -- on a particularly rough day. After all, if a little is good, than a lot is better right? It’s been my life’s motto and has mostly worked . . . not at all.
So if it’s you I decide to keep me company when I’m sad, take pity on me and don’t make me hear verbatim what I said the next day. Delete my texts before you go to bed, never to be read again.
Or just don’t answer. Dodge the bullet all together. I thank you.