How to Cheer Yourself Up

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 28 March 2011 23:34
As any reader of this blog may know, I'm a bit of a moan-y sort. It's not something I'm proud of (apart from when it allows me to write for Grumpy Young Women, which is great). I've been pestered by panic attacks, dabbled a bit in depression and am generally a my-glass-is-half-empty-and-now-you've-gone-and-knocked-it-over-you-idiot kind of person. More importantly, overly cheery types get on my nerves and I am truly suspicious of anyone who walks around smiling all the time (what? It's not natural!). Which is why this blog title is already making me feel a bit queasy but hey, even we grumps can share some happiness sometimes. 

Honestly, I am trying to be a little more positive and a little less of the life-sucks mentality (and doing quite well at it!), and recently I wrote myself a little list of things which helped relax my face into a smile last time I found myself in a bit of a hole. On a serious note, it's not fun when there's a dark cloud hovering over everything while everyone else plays in the sunshine - but there are ways to make it better. 

If you're not on Spotify, rectify that right this minute - you don't know what you're missing out on. Well, I'll tell you - you're missing the Musical Prozac list that myself and Emma Cossey created and listen to fairly religiously when we need a pick-me-up. Admittedly, we're 90s kids and there's a lot of S Club, 5ive and Steps in there (and that's just my contribution) but I defy you not to get up and jump around when any one of the songs on the playlist comes on. Hairbrush hits and dancefloor favourites are in there aplenty, and it's a collaborative list so you can add your own happy hits to it. Music is the biggest helper when I get a bout of the blues - whether I'm jumping around my room like a moron or singing my heart out to Beyonce, I forget what I was sad about and just feel grateful for having ears (not vocal chords).

OK, so we all hate hearing that actually, the key to happiness is not slouching on the sofa watching Friends (though in fact I will come to that later) - and working up a sweat can work off those negative feelings. Whether it's dancing around your bedroom (see point one) or going for a quick jog round the block, getting your heart pumping and throwing your energy into something else other than being angry or down is a good way to at least take your mind off your troubles. Do as I do and follow it with a rewarding cuppa and a Hobnob and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about...

This is a tricky one. I was explaining to a friend recently that when I fall into that pit of self-pity and sadness, the very last thing I want to do is talk to anyone. I, obviously, prefer to shut myself in my room and put 5ive's Keep on Movin' on repeat. But, when I do need a pick-me-up, I find that picking up my phone is often the best way to go. Whether it's to hear my mum talk to me about what she did to her hair this week or to text my friend to simply share that I am blue so she can send me some virtual flowers, just telling someone about it (or distracting yourself with someone else's life for a while) can make things seem a lot simpler. Not sure who to talk to? Get yourself onto Twitter. We're all pretty good listeners.

A fail-safe film
If you're not a lover of film and TV, firstly, what does your furniture point at? And secondly, well this may not work for you, but hopefully you have something to relate it to (a good book?). As a bit of a telly addict and film fan, I have a few fail-safe movies and shows that are guaranteed to make me feel better when I'm down. Obviously, Friends is an easy one and so is Sex and the City (this is not a time for Eastenders). My personal favourite is Home and Away - stop laughing - because I love the show, it's set in Australia where they are forever on the sunny beach and it's easy viewing. Film-wise I have so many I wouldn't want to bore you, but How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Confessions of a Shopaholic and anything Disney are always top of the list. And Bourne, for obvious reasons...

Remembering the past, looking at the future 
One final thing that chills me out a little is to stop thinking about the present. When things get too much, it's always because there is a lot going on and I'm feeling overwhelmed by it all. Whipping out the photo album (or, you know, Facebook) and reminiscing about the good old days is always fun, so long as you don't start sobbing over the waist you used to have or the boy you used to date. I have one particular memory involving my ex, his nan and a very unstable picnic chair that has me crying with laughter every time, and photo-wise a picture of my baby nephew is all it takes to make me smile again. Just look at the happy memories. Even better - plan some new ones. My love of travel always cheers me up, and I look at my globe (a very dear present that takes pride of place in my room), think about where I'd like to go and look up some holiday deals on the net, just to browse. Even if I don't book any, knowing it's out there and that I could do it is something for me to look forward to. 

Everyone will have their own happy list - this is just mine. If you feel down more than you feel up, take a sheet of paper, write down five things that make you smile and stick it on the wall. It might just make you feel better next time things get tough. Oh and also - this is part of a blogging challenge where you have to have a question for a title. Typing 'how to..', 'what is', 'why is..' into Google provides oodles of giggles if you need a quick happy fix. People search for some weird stuff.

What are your happy songs/films/tips?

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge series - see all posts in the challenge here!  

2 Response to " How to Cheer Yourself Up "

  1. Hey Judy, I really recognise myself in your first paragraph! I'm known as a bit of a moaner as well (I've been told I need to watch a film about starving kids in developing countries and then I'll realise I don't deserve to moan - that usually shuts me up). I have also been doing all of these things you've listed (not sure if I started before or after reading your post!) and they do indeed help with the *trying* to be more positive. Although I have to admit, I am watching more TV/film now than exercising/chatting etc... I recommend anything with Richard Armitage in it for an instant perk... Spooks, North & South, Robin Hood...


  2. Judy Said,

    Haha I am watching a lot more than I am doing :) Anything that helps though, that's what I say! xx


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