What I Do To Cheer Myself Up

Sometimes, but only sometimes, life isn’t sunshine and daisies. You’re stuck in dependency hell or you’ve had a bad interview or your cookies didn’t bake right. Sometimes, all those things happen to you on the same day.

And by you, I really mean me.

Here’s what I do to cheer myself up, because happiness is endgame here in my world.

Write about it.

I find it really hard to talk to people honestly when something goes wrong. I worry that they won’t have context, won’t get it, and in many cases, the people that I care about are time zones away. My family and friends are spread out over PST, EST, CST, UTC + 5:30, and UTC + 3, so they’re not always available. This is where writing comes in. I write everywhere. In my journal, in my notebooks, in Google Docs, and once, on an airplane barf bag when I ran out of paper. No, it wasn’t full, and no, I didn’t check. To me, writing is like a conversation with myself where I can be honest, and put my thoughts out there without fear of judgement. It forces me to slow down, understand the situation, and make something of the turmoil in my head.

Tweet about it.

Input: sadness, output: self-deprecating snark that maybe 6 people see but that's okay because it immediately makes me feel better.



Read.

If you’re new here, hi. You should know that books are my haven, refuge and shelter from everything that is wrong in this world. It is from characters in my favourite books that I have found my strength, my self esteem and confidence, and sheer love for my loud, impulsive, flawed, has-no-chill, hopped-on-caffeine self. Sliding back into a book that I’ve read and loved is like returning to a world where I know I will not be disappointed. And when I’m sad, I really need that. Off the top of my head, my favourite comfort reads are: A Little Princess by Frances Burnett (which is weird because this book is pretty depressing), The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, any book except the last in the Jessica Darling series by Megan McAfferty, and The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima.

Watch Ten Things I Hate About You.

Just trust me.

Clean.

When something goes wrong, it’s almost always out of my control. I may be lazy at times, impulsive, and have a problem with caffeine control, but I always do my best to achieve my goals, and try not to let my flaws get in the way. So when I’m sad, I’m not so much mad at myself for failing, as much as I’m mad at the world for failing me. I feel like I’m not in control, and it sucks. Cleaning helps with this! This can be anything from clearing out my inbox and cleaning up my commit history to folding clean laundry and putting away my things. Very soothing and cathartic. Plus my apartment is almost never untidy.

Take a long walk.

Putting some Ed Sheeran on, and taking long walks by myself. It’s a cliché, but it’s one for a reason, you know?

Talk to other humans.

Yeah, being honest and candid with people is hard, but I’ve luckily found some humans who’ve made it easier than most.

Facing what makes me sad.

Look, Ed Sheeran's voice is simply not enough to keep the sadness away. Trust me, I've tried to make it happen. What does make the sadness go away is dealing with it directly. Shit happens, and sometimes it happens more to a specific type of people, and that might make me feel angry or sad or helpless or all of the three. It’s okay to feel that way as long as I turn it into something actionable. Something that makes me feel empowered. Sometimes, that’s trying again. Sometimes, that’s letting go of something I can’t change. Sometimes, it’s learning from what went wrong, and figuring what I can do to to avoid it. And almost always, it’s moving on to something better.