4 Ways to Bring a Little Happy into Hard Times

When life gets complicated blogging can be tough.

boy, you make things difficult
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Five hundred years ago when I launched A Foreign Land, I was in a dark place. My posts reflected that. They were snarky and full of complaints. Surprisingly (sarcastic font), they didn't resonate with any audience and frankly my writing wasn't fun to read. Somewhere along the line I made a strategic decision to lighten up. I tried to dedicate this space to positive parts of my life. My writing smiled more and not so surprisingly the audience grew.

Of course my decision to write happy didn't mean I didn't still have snarky days. Bad stuff still happened. Hard stuff still happened. But I set a boundary for myself. Rather than using my blog to work through it, I turned to family, friends and my therapists. (Yes, therapists is intentionally plural. Mostly because we moved not because counseling me takes a team of qualified professionals. Mostly.)

I'm all for bloggers who have set different boundaries for themselves. I appreciate reading heartfelt posts about others' struggles. It's helpful to know of others' difficulties and how they've overcome them. I champion the push in the blogger world to "be real" and share a full picture of our lives. But I also respect and understand bloggers who choose to keep some things for themselves.

I bring all this up because in my world October REALLY sucked. I dealt with family sickness and death. I was turned down for a job I really wanted - and that's just the stuff I'm interested in putting in a blog post. So, for me, I stepped away from A Foreign Land. I chose to "keep it real" elsewhere.

But I'm thinking I'm back.

I woke up this morning feeling productive and creative. The sun was shining - metaphorically and for real. For the first time in weeks, I wanted to blog. Yahooooooo!

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To celebrate I decided to share a few tools I used to bring a little positivity into the suckiosity that surrounded me. My hope is that when YOU are in a funk (Perhaps today? It is Monday after all.) they'll come in handy.
  1. Be Gentle: Give yourself a little time and space. When the shit hits the fan, if you're anything like me, you may want to rush to get back to "normal" as quickly as possible. Resist the urge to force yourself back into a happy place. As scary as it can be, it's okay to feel sad. It's okay to mourn. It's okay to accomplish a bit less in the name of healing. Be gentle on yourself and know that taking time to process loss or disappointment is necessary and helpful. Sad isn't a land we want to reside in permanently but we shouldn't be afraid to visit for a season. As a side note, I packed hot tea, speculoos cookies and some BBC for my stay and was glad I did.
  2. Get Happier: This social gratitude journal is a free app that lives up to its name. When we're sad, finding reasons to be grateful is hugely important. Research shows that focussing on the positive and sharing good things with others makes you happier, healthier and more productive. Happier encourages you to do just that. It's a community of users making a choice to find the good - sometimes small and easily overlooked - things in each day and celebrate them. I encourage you to check it out! {Connect with me here.}
  3. Embrace Your Yogaglo: For an incredibly reasonable price Yogaglo delivers more than 1,000 yoga and meditation classes right to your computer, HDTV or mobile devise so there's no longer an excuse not to get a little exercise. When I'm sad the last thing I want to do is go to the gym even though exercise endorphins are just what I need. I got hooked after a 15 day FREE TRIAL of yoga in my pjs. Starting my day with yoga or meditation or yoga AND meditation has been a way to get me out of bed on days that the last thing I want to do is get out of bed. Plus, I'm getting way more bendy and so can you.
  4. Go On a Lady Date: This one is particularly for you ladies out there. There's nothing like time spent with a girlfriend or two to elevate your mood. Whether you're in person, on FaceTime or using your connectivity software of choice, your network of supporters is essential. For me, different friends played different roles. You might know one woman who can do all of these things. (If you do, will you introduce me? She sounds magical.) One friend just listened and cared. Another cussed out the "bad guys" for me. One reminded me I wasn't going nuts, it was just my life that was. Another commiserated and shared her own hurts. One made me laugh and fed me sweets. Others encouraged and nudged me to think about possibilities for the future and the life waiting for me after the sadness. I can't sing the praises of a fabulous lady date enough. Put one on your calendar and it will give you something to look forward to.

How do you cope with the funk when it darkens your door?