I had no idea what to blog about for this month's session. I've been so incredibly busy and working long hours on readying my next publication, DOGNAPPED? A Dog Show Detective Mystery, that I haven't had time to feel insecure. Then life had a good chuckle at my expense and provided a reminder that sometimes things can go wrong in gloriously disastrous ways. Sigh.
I won't go into the dull details, but it reminded me that even ditzy little giggle-heads like myself can get down sometimes. I've never been a very sympathetic ear, I'm always the one that wants to devise an action plan to tackle any adversities. So, instead of sulking (alright, I may have given myself five minutes to whine), I decided to look at actions we can implement whenever we're down. Here's mine:
- It could be worse. I know, I know, that's bad luck to say. But it's true. I reminded myself that this issue was just damaged property, it's only a money issue. Everyone is safe and well in my house.
- Meditate. Stress can affect your sleep and lack of sleep increases stress. I listen to guided meditation recordings I've picked up from Audible and iTunes. I turn the volume down low, focus on my breathing and pretty soon I'm all relaxed. They also help inspire creativity.
- Write it down. When things turn over and over in your head, your brain becomes active trying to process what can sometimes be a problem on a loop. Even if you wake up at 3am worried about something, grabbing a notepad and writing down the problem allows you to go back to sleep. Your brain needs an action to be taken, this small action allows it to move on.
- List the positives. If you've had a super-crappy day, list all the positives in your life at the moment. My list included finishing another manuscript, being offered a place in an anthology, invited to run children's writing workshops at a local bookshop/cafe and receiving heart-warming feedback from beta readers for Dognapped? Oh, and My Zombie Dog made a few extra sales this week. Listing positives can put the negative in perspective and remind you that life comes in waves with ups and downs. If you just ride the down out, you'll get another wave of gleeful times.
- Make a Plan. A plan within a plan! What actions, regardless of how unappealing they seem, could you take to remedy the situation? Choosing to do nothing is still making a choice, it's just a passive choice that rarely helps.
- Get over it. Sounds harsh? Whenever my kids are devastated over some loss (usually an electronic gadget), I tell them to imagine explaining their problem to a child suffering extreme poverty and life-threatening conditions in a third world country. This makes me feel too guilty to wallow in self-pity.
- Laugh about it. It's not always easy, but humour lifts the spirits. I think laughing at our adversities is part of the Australian culture.
- Do something nice for someone else. Can't feel sorry for yourself if you're busy helping others. Plus good deeds make you feel better.
There it is. My list of cheer-ups for those really cruddy days. Any extra ideas I can add to that list? I'd mention chocolate, but I think it's just become out of my budget (see, humour... yeah).
Speaking of doing good deeds for others, Nick Wilford has put together an anthology to raise money to help a young man with cerebral palsy attend a specialist college. You can grab the Overcoming Adversity for just $2.99 at Amazon, or check out Denise Covey's blog for more details.