A Surreal Week

I’m once again linking up with Kate On Thin Ice and her blog hop to get mums to take a little time just for themselves in their busy lives.  I’m thinking this week about Kate’s Big Question: what one small thing can you do to make a big difference.

I’ve lately been reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog about how to bring a little happiness into our lives, which I felt fitted quite well with Kate’s idea.  There is usually something in the emails which makes me look at things differently and I’ve been a subscriber for a while but this article in particular really made me want to read the whole book.  I found this blog via Ally or Zazzy, I can’t remember which, but I’ve found many of the quotes and different viewpoints to be quite inspirational.  This week the following pinged into my inbox:  5 Things to Stave off the Blues.   Or, to put it another way, 5 things to avoid so that the blues don’t get worse.  Have a look at the article for an explanation.

The argument was that some of the things we do when we’re feeling down may actually make us feel worse, for example:

  • ·         Comforting yourself with a “treat;”
  • ·         Letting yourself off the hook;
  • .         Turning off your phone;
  • ·         Aggressively expressing your negative emotions;
  • ·         Staying in your pajamas all day.

The theory is that resisting the temptation, whether to eat something we don’t need or to slob around the house, can be a huge boost.  For example, comfort eating just makes me feel worse in the long run.  Years ago I gave up eating chocolate completely, which lasted for a couple of years.  I’ve no idea why I went back to eating it.  But I’m avoiding chocolate again because I find it can bring my mood crashing down.  And now I’m starting to get a little mental energy and clarity of thinking, I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise it.  I also think that I’ve let myself off the hook way too often in my life and have therefore achieved much less than I was capable.  Also, when I slob around all day, I do feel more lethargic and less motivated.  I like having things to do and objectives to aim for, so I’m giving these a try.  They almost feel like New Year’s resolutions.  I remember a lot of people saying around New Year that anytime you feel like it is a good time to make a change.  Not giving in is half the battle, I’m finding.  There, already I’m not letting myself off the hook!

I’ve also rejoined the gym after a break of a couple of months and I’m enjoying feeling a little fitter for the effort.  Big laugh of the week came courtesy of Zazzy, though, with whom I had an extremely surreal conversation.  All started out in a very ordinary way but quickly took a turn for the bizarre.  I’ve learned way more this week than I needed to know!  I will never look at cotton buds again in the same way.  Read more here.

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20 Responses to A Surreal Week

  1. Interesting post and thanks for linking up Polly. That one about negative emotions rang true, had a bit of a wobbly day yesterday. Yes, getting out of slouch clothes always helps me feel better. Good link to follow by the look of things too, thank you

    • The link is really worth a read, Kate. It started out so normally, but just took a turn for the very bizarre! Glad you are feeling more positive today.

  2. Susan Mann says:

    Sounds like you are having a good week. Good luck xx

  3. Claire says:

    Wow..what can I say? The cotton bud story has been a real eye opener. I have a bit of a cotton bud addiction..but I have to say, I might have just been miraculously cured!

    Well done for rejoining the gym and making the effort to get fitter. I need to take a leaf out of your book. x

    • Early days yet Claire, I’m very good at early enthusiam, but this time I’m going to try not letting myself off the hook! Glad you liked the cat / cotton bud story. Just had to share it, so funny.

  4. Zazzy says:

    A small treat – say a piece of really exceptional chocolate – can make me feel good. My problem is keeping it at one piece. If the treat turns into a chocolate binge that definitely takes me into the guilt and remorse arena.

    Our conversation about Zoe made me laugh all week! Thanks for making a freaky situation a little lighter.

  5. Hooray. Nice to be reading you again. I need my Caught Writing fix. I am so with you on diet. I really need to sort mine out as like you certain foods make my mood slump; sugar, wheat, all the nice stuff mainly. A few years ago I did a detox that eradicated sugar and wheat for a month, no meat either, and it made me feel great. It also helped to diminish my PMS. Power of food eh? Hope your writing course is going well.

    • Hi Sarah, it’s amazing how food can affect the mood – I never really noticed before but I hadn’t had any chocolate for quite a while, and then didn’t really have much but enough to make a change. As you say, all the nice stuff!

  6. Anita says:

    Hi Polly – good to read a new post.
    I was given The Happiness Project for Christmas (was on my wish list) and can highly recommend buying it – I dip into it all the time.
    I’m reading Stop Thinking. Start Living by the late Richard Carlson at the moment and this is an excellent book which supports the theory mentioned above that talking about or dwelling on unhappiness is not useful.
    Hope all well with you


  7. Ally Bean says:

    Gretchen Rubin brings up so many interesting ideas. I always feel more focused and alive after I read something she writes.

    This list is a good one– and I have to admit that I’m guilty of doing all these things on it. Not constantly, mind you, but once in a great while. Guess I shouldn’t let myself off the hook about this, eh?

    • I think it must have been you that first pointed me in Gretchen’s direction. The book arrived today so hope to dip into that soon. Not letting myself off the hook is going to be a big one for me!

  8. I love this post and wonder if chocolate has been my downfall all these years, not sure I can give it up – the thought brings me out in a cold sweat. Well done on the gym-effort, I’m very impressed! I must look at the link, intrigued….x

    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Jane. The link is well worth a read, one of those things you just couldn’t make up and just went off at a totally bizarre tangent quite unexpectedly.

  9. Fantastic post! Thoroughly inspiring and I will remember those things on my PMT week when everything seems to go out of control, it might help just cling on to sanity, which sometimes goes out of the window on those moody blues days!x

  10. The idea of a day in PJs (especially if someone has the kids) sounds so appealing to me! Mich x