It’s a gloomy, overcast day here. The weather is in sync with my mood. You see, it’s Canada Day. Not just any Canada Day. It is Canada’s 150th birthday today. The entire country is spending an entire year organising events and celebrations to mark this momentous milestone, but today is the most important of them all because July 1st is the day Canada officially turns 150 years old. Of course, Canada existed long before then but 150 years ago is when a bunch of old men got together and said “Yes, this is a real country now because we say so.”
Being a Canadian, I should be celebrating with friends and family at barbecues and bonfires and watching fireworks at the lakefront with my neighbours. However, despite numerous open invitations, it seems no one is interested in spending Canada Day with me. I will be spending my country’s 150th birthday alone, the way I spend most of my days. I’m an introvert by nature but there is a point where solitude becomes loneliness and I surpassed that point a long time ago.
But I’m not here to cry “woe is me!” For one thing, that isn’t interesting for you to read. For another thing, that’s not what this blog is for. This blog is for you, not me. It’s for writing advice, tips and tricks, book reviews and other things that the average writer and/or bibliophile would find useful. My downtrodden disposition served as the inspiration for this week’s blog post; how to cheer up a gloomy writer.
The bad news is that if you are a writer affected by gloominess, you can’t hope for others to cheer you up. If you rely on others for your happiness, you will be disappointed every single time. Other people cannot be depended on, not now, not ever, but that’s okay. That’s actually a good thing. It might not sound like a good thing at first, but when you stop relying on other people to fuel your happiness, you realise that you have a lot more control over what you can do to influence your emotions. I’m not talking about that forced positivity nonsense. No one can just choose to stop feeling sad. Anyone who tells you to just think more positive when you are feeling low has absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do to pick your crummy mood up off the ground and dust it off.
Writers have a hard time writing through sadness. At least I do. Here are some things I’m going to do today to shake off some of those bad vibes hanging around me. They won’t solve my problem of being alone when I want to be with friends. Chances are, these things won’t solve your problems either, but they will hopefully help you mellow out enough to feel a little less horrible about whatever situation has you feeling down right now.
I love yoga but I’m never consistent with it. I’ll throw myself into long yoga workouts daily for a few months, then stop for a year until I remember it again. Nevertheless, I’m going to throw on a beginner yoga YouTube video today just to loosen up and relax a little. You should, too!
Yoga is more of a workout than people realise. If I’m going to be doing yoga, I’m going to need to bathe after but hey, that’s great! It’s an excuse to pamper myself a little and soak in some warm, bubbly water. On top of just making you feel good, it will also ease your sore muscles from that yoga routine. Win win!
You know what’s just as refreshing as a hot bath after a yoga routine? A delicious caffeine fix. Head on out to Starbucks or whatever local coffee shop suits your fancy and order something delicious that you don’t normally order on a daily basis so it feels like a real treat. I have a Nespresso machine at home so I’ll be brewing up a frothy latte.
I’m partial to Disney movies, but whatever makes you laugh or gives you warm fuzzies, curl up in a blanket with that cup of coffee you just treated yourself to and enjoy your own personal movie night. Whether it’s Netflix‘s latest rom-com or your favourite funny YouTuber, if it makes you happy, throw it on and enjoy.
A Good Book
Come on, of course I was going to suggest this. What writer isn’t cheered up by books? Saving a good book for last after you’ve spent some time unwinding is a great way to ensure you start reading feeling refreshed. Saving reading for the last thing on your to-do list allows you to read without distractions. You have no other obligations to attend to so just relax and let yourself fall into the pages. Check out my blog post, The Secret to Reading Fast, for more advice on fully immersing yourself in a good story.
When people and life in general let you down, it pays to be your own best friend. You’ll never let yourself down as long as you remember to treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend. Solitary folks like us writers benefit the most from being our own best friends.
When a writer can find companionship and comfort within herself by treating herself with kindness, she can not only finish her book, but she can conquer the world.