I think it’s time to admit that I’m not doing the greatest. As someone who moves around a lot (I’ve lived in 4 different places during the last 4 years) I expected the move to British Columbia to be difficult, but I honestly had no idea how much of a toll it would take on my physical and emotional well-being. It’s not one thing in particular, like missing my family or adjusting to life in a smaller town, but a lot of things that have come to together to make life much less enjoyable than it was before.
I’ve been in ruts before, felt stuck in less than ideal situations, and have dealt with periods of major depression. I know there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, or some joy to be found in the unlikeliest of places. I try to be patient and remind myself that while it feels like there’s a big ol’ raincloud over my head right now, the world is always changing. Something incredibly awesome could be right around the corner. Most of the time that’s enough to keep me going. The incredibly awesome thing for me is that we get to go home in May so we can go back to doing all the things we’re used to doing…like snuggling animals, eating poutine, and going on adventures.
In the meantime I’ve been trying to take care of myself as best I can since I tend to be hard on myself when I’m sad. I criticize myself for not making more art, I get upset about my appearance, and I start comparing my life to that of other people who seem to have a lot more going on. I’ve been trying very hard to fight against the negativity and keep myself from falling into a pit of despair. Here’s some things I’ve been doing to help myself get through it.
Make myself laugh
Will and I usually spend most of our time laughing at stuff anyway. When he’s busy with school stuff or gone out doing something sporty I throw on some youtube clips of my favorite comedians or watch a tv show that gets me smiling. Cute animal videos and using those odd but hilarious Snapchat filters with friends are also good for this.
Plan some adventures
I love traveling and discovering new places, but there hasn’t been much of that due to Will being in school and the winter conditions making it difficult to travel. Since we’ll be hitting the road and heading home in a few months we’re looking at maps and planning stops along the way. Parks Canada is offering free passes to national parks across the country this year so I made sure to get one so we can visit some awesome new places. It just so happens to be Canada’s 150th birthday as well so there’s going to be a lot of neat things to check out. Visit the website here to see what’s happening in your area, there’s also an app for your phone that will give you event listings based on your location. How awesome is that?!
Eat well, work out
We’ve been doing a lot of stress eating over the last few months. I really have been trying to eat better but with the cost of food being so high and the sadness being what it is, I haven’t been living the healthiest lifestyle. I do have a few healthy recipes I ‘m trying to get back into rotation, such as this really great avocado pasta sauce and having a bowl of baked apples with some greek yogurt in the mornings. Here are some good food recipe sites to check out:
Along with eating better, I’m also making sure I do some kind a physical activity every day. I go for a spin on a stationary bike, do pilates, or go for a long walk. Will is very athletic and is always off biking and skiing, so there’s been no impact on his waistline whatsoever. I’m pretty jealous.
Because I’m a professional artist (some of the time, at least), being creative can actually be a pretty big source of stress for me. It feels awful to be stuck in a rut or feel uninspired. My creativity seems to being coming and going a lot. I’ll have a week where I make a bunch of stuff and feel super excited about it, then for some reason I’ll start to feel like nothing is working out well and I’ll go a month without being able to finish anything I start. Our apartment is dark and there isn’t anywhere for me to set up a proper workspace, so unless I can work on it while sitting on the on the couch, it’s not happening. It’s important to me to keep trying though, so when one thing doesn’t work for me, I find some other way to work out my creative frustration. When I stop being able to paint, I switch to photography for a while, or needle felting. I recently started a video log as well so I could brush up on my video editing skills. Even doing a simple DIY project found on Pinterest can make me feel better.
Show myself some love
This one can be difficult. I can really be my own worst enemy. I’m trying not to get too down about not accomplishing as much as I’d like, or feeling like I’m not as pretty as I used to be (mostly because I don’t have a reason to dress nicely and put on make up, so I don’t). Moving meant leaving a lot of my favourite people, places, and things behind and I usually need all of that to cope. I’m not able to cheer myself up by going for a walk to a duckpond anymore, I can’t easily go to a gallery or sit in a cozy cafe with my best friends and observe the world through a window. I’ve been having to come up with new ways to perk myself up, which honestly has been really hard because I don’t have much to work with. I’ve been finding this self care sheet pretty good for getting me though the worst bits.
Show someone else some love
This one is important. There’s obviously more than just me going through a sad transitionary phase at the moment. One thing that makes me feel better is taking the focus off myself and asking someone else how they’re doing. If someone I know is having a hard day I ask them if there’s anything I can do to help. Making myself smile is great, but what really makes me happy is having someone to smile with.
So there’s a few things I do to help cheer myself up when things aren’t going great. Maybe you might find it helpful if you’re in the same boat and if you are, just remember what I said about the world always changing and something awesome being around around the corner. There have been times where I honestly thought that I’d never be happy again and each time I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Also, if things get really bad, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it, because I’ve been in that situation too and talking to someone (either a professional or someone you trust) really truly helped.