Last week I had a case of the Mean Reds. Oh it was awful. I felt totally unproductive, I couldn’t help but compare myself to every other Instagram account I follow, and I wallowed in self-pity. Waaahh.
It happens to the best of us! And I am self-aware enough to know that I’m extremely in touch with my emotions, or as my boyfriend fondly says “really, really sensitive”. I’m ok with that. When I’m happy, I’m prone to solo dance parties in front of the mirror, when I’m sad I need at least two chocolate croissants and to cry in bed for an hour or so darling.
There’s no real cure for the Mean Reds, but I thought I’d write a little bit about what I like to do to shake them off. We’ve all been there right? And if you haven’t been there, then please call me because I’d like to buy whatever you’re on :)
1) Ride it out
Throw yourself a pity party, and don’t feel guilty for doing it! Get it out, get it all out (and maybe record yourself so you can get a good laugh out of it later). Venting is healthy, in my opinion. It’s terrible to bottle things up, and act passive aggressively towards the people around you. On that same note, if you’re venting, try not to take it out on everybody else. It’s usually the people we love the most who try to stick by us during our dark times.
2) Ask someone wiser than you for a pep-talk, or their best advice
I think all my best friends are wiser than me. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such level-headed, smart cookies. I also like talking to my parents, old teachers, mentors, etc. Sometimes people won’t get exactly what you’re going through, but that’s ok. You can learn something new from anyone, because everyone knows something you don’t know. Whoooaaaaaa.
I also found this really cool pep-talk generator, and the first click took me to the exact paragraph of wisdom I needed in my life:
“You know how you’ve been feeling directionless? You have the potential and the drive, but you lack the clarity. It’s OK. Everyone goes through a quarter life crisis. You’re meant to be experiencing this discomfort so that you become aware, at a profound level, what you’re made of and the things that don’t resonate with you. Think of it as a muscle that’s tearing and burning. That’s the only way it can grow and become strong and toned. Start with what you know, take the first step, and the rest will reveal itself in due time. There is NO way you can anticipate everything now. Trust the process.“
– Cynthia Cortina
3) Do something you love, or just do something
It can be hard to crawl out of your cocoon of self-pity, but you have to try. Start small. Last week I started really small by just rewatching some of my favourite classic movies. I am a classic movie junkie, and for me it’s an activity that I usually do alone since none of my friends watch movies made before 1995. I watched Sabrina, and The Seven-Year Itch back-to-back and I didn’t even have to get out of bed. They instantly made me a little happier. Just going for a walk, or maybe alphabetizing your perfume collection, or throwing out all your single socks – little things can make you feel productive, and that’s one step in the right direction.
These next two tips are really cheesy and annoying, I’m sorry, but they’re the damn truth:
4) Count your blessings
I know, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself the last thing you want to hear is “well at least you HAVE a job”, or “Jocelyn, some people can’t even buy shoes and you’re sad you can’t buy those in two colours?” Give yourself a kick in the butt, because you need to get over yourself (or at least pretend to because everyone will think you’re really selfish). But, seriously. If you’re reading this right now on your laptop or smartphone, you are already so much luckier than the majority of humans on this earth. You have people in your life who love you, you likely have access to fresh water, education, and healthcare. Please, do something good for someone else who needs your help. And if you really can’t, then maybe you need to ask for help yourself. There is no shame in asking for help, and you may be surprised at how many people are willing to hold your hand, or light the way if you just can’t manage.
5) Exercise – ew.
I KNOW. I hate myself for even writing this, but yes, exercise really helps. Science has proven it, so you can’t even argue really. I actually find that the hardest part is just getting off my ass and changing into my workout clothes. Once I’m ready, it’s like I’ve committed so I better just get it over with. Don’t be too hard on yourself – maybe you can only manage a short walk around the block, and that’s ok! I like to watch Jillian Michaels so I can at least curse at her for yelling at me through the screen. Exercise works, end of story.
If I had to leave you with my own pep-talk or words of advice, I’d say this: stop comparing yourself to people around you. If I’ve learned anything in my twenty-five years, it’s that everyone moves at their own pace, and everyone is on their own unique path. It’s really hard these days with social media shoving everyone else’s accomplishments in our faces, but take a step back. Get some perspective. Or just look at this picture!
And lastly, If you feel like you need a friend, please shoot me a message! I can’t promise to solve your problems, but I can absolutely listen to you and maybe even prescribe a good classic movie.