What Do You Do on Sad Days?

I should know by now how to deal with the days the ‘misery monster’ pays a visit…

‘Come on girl, there is much to be happy about’! This I tell myself so often, as do my trusted gurus, my loved ones, my friends. BUT, there are those blue days that creep up on me; the times when the lurking ‘misery’ monster creeps out from the shadows and wraps its shapeless form around me until it turns into a cloak I can’t shake off.

     ‘When the monster crept in from the shadows, I just couldn’t push it away, Filling my head with its chatter, It stayed until night turned to day. I felt I should dismiss it, with one impatient stroke, But its presence lingered with me, Like a dark and heavy cloak.’

I write often about how to deal with anxiety and indeed, I have written a handbook about anxiety and how to move forward from it.* I should know by now how to deal with the days when the ‘misery monster’ pays a visit, and yes there are coping mechanisms that work very well. In these times of what can only be described as ‘technology and information overload’ though, I think many of us have days when we feel bombarded with too much of everything, both good and bad, and those are the days when things can get out of perspective.

         ‘ Through weary eyes I viewed the clouds – As they shed their watery tears, Blotting out the cheerful sun, As it dimmed then disappeared .’

My Facebook feed gives me a constant stream of inspiring and uplifting quotes and feel-good stories. Most of them I like or even love, and occasionally I will read something heart-stoppingly good. I wouldn’t change much of it, and most of the feeds I have chosen to follow, but sometimes I wonder if, certainly I, take them a bit for granted and have forgotten how to read with fresh eyes. And maybe it’s the same with other things we know are good for us but we don’t give our attention to as much as we could. I’m always talking about the positive effects of being outdoors and enjoying the world around us, and yet yesterday I took a long walk in my favourite woods and realised when I got home that I hadn’t taken in my beautiful surroundings at all. I hadn’t admired the early blossom on the cherry tree on the corner or the emerging primrose peeking out from the grassy winter pathway like an early evening star.

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I know too, that I should eat well. I know the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet, and getting the right amount of sleep and excercise. I take my vitamins and drink the water. But it’s easier to give in to the chocolate bar calling to me from the cupboard on ‘sad’ days. Hmm….I must switch on my Hymalayan Salt lamp.  The warm glow really is uplifting.

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So what DO we do on sad days? Do we stay in our pyjamas and spend a day on the sofa covered in a soft, warm duvet with a good book or some box sets, or do we try and get on with things? A day on the sofa may be welcome occasionally and there’s nothing wrong with it, ( in fact I like the sound of it actually!) but I guess it’s about waking up to what is around us and really seeing what is there. We can develop the philosopher in us by reading, learning, reflecting and analysing but that’s not the whole picture. I thought yesterday about the term ‘warrior’ which seems to be used a lot at the moment. To be a warrior one needs to be brave, fearless, and be tuned in to surviving at all costs. A warrior bends in the wind but doesn’t break and a warrior doesn’t go against his better judgement. A warrior looks after his tribe; something important to most of us. If we don’t try to embrace our inner warrior we can become victims, blaming our past or our upbringing for what is making us unhappy or restless, instead of facing the world and taking responsibility for ourselves and our past. Don’t get me wrong. It is not always easy to be a warrior. It certainly doesn’t come easily to me. But on sad days especially, I am going to remember I have a warrior in me who can throw off that ‘misery monster’s cloak’. That warrior is going to stand up and be counted and see obstacles as opportunities.

       ‘Imagine a month of Sundays, Each one dull and grey, Suddenly brightened by sunlight, That illuminated the day. And the sound of children’s laughter, That arrived like a gift, That caused my heavy heart to stir, And make my spirits lift.’

 I am a cheerful person really. Actually quite humorous. I like doing fun things, I can tell jokes and I can double up with laughter at times. I am a deep thinking person but humour is important to me and I don’t like to think I take myself too seriously 😑  So, dear reader, I apologise for any gloominess, but at the same time, if you are gloomy too, don’t forget to go out and look for the early signs of spring, which is just around the corner. And hang in there, especially if times are tough.

       ‘And imagine the sight of a rainbow, Shimmering after the rain, Like a painting stretched across the sky, Bringing colour to the world again.

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The most stunning rainbow I have seen recently – a little blurry, but still…..

What do you do on ‘sad days’? I would love to hear from you and your ways of coping with the ‘misery monster’ days.

Blessings to you.

* My book ‘Best Foot Forward – Moving on From Anxiety’ will be available soon on Amazon or email me at  – loveyourstory8@aol.com

‘The Monster in the Shadows’ poem  (C) Lyn Halvorsen

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Hearts and flowers today …obviously

I’m getting on a bit now. Valentine’s Day is now just a pleasant diversion that cheers me up on a winter’s day. Not that I’m not a romantic, but as the years roll on it’s the everyday togetherness that is important when you have been married a long time; the comfort of knowing that (if you are lucky) your partner is there for you no matter what, and your heart won’t sink to your boots if a bundle of mysterious cards do not find their way through your letter box.

It’s easy to say that Valentine’s Day is just a commercial fest; its true that flowers increase dramatically in price as the day approaches and that is a shame, but there is no doubt seeing all the lovely containers of blooms spilling out over the pavement outside the florist’s shop is very uplifting to see, and yesterday my local mini-supermarket was awash with glorious bunches of red roses which should have dropped a hint to the most preoccupied of lovers.

As with all these celebratory days, it is difficult for some. Not everyone is in a happy relationship, some people are alone; maybe they have lost a loved one; putting on a brave face on such a day can be hard. I can remember as a teenager being mortified that no one had bothered to send me a card; even worse, I remember the feeling of elation that quickly changed to heart wrenching disappointment when the card I thought was from someone I yearned to have as a boyfriend was really from someone else. If only we could reach back down the years and tell our young selves that the future would be bright and for a lot of us the right person was out there!

Although days of celebration like this will always be with us and on the whole, we enjoy them, it’s really day to day living that matters. Small romantic gestures every day of the year are what makes the world go round. It’s something that is easy to forget, and yet it is so important. Who could fail to feel better after coming home to a lovingly prepared dinner and some lighted candles, or seeing a household job completed that had been niggling away at you for ages? And a bunch of flowers or some chocolates are welcome any day of the year in my house!

It’s not just the romantic side of life that’s important, it’s showing we care for friends and family too; noticing when someone is down and taking time out for them; babysitting and baking, sharing time together, all these help to keep our world turning.

The following poem isn’t really about Valentine’s Day itself, it is more about friendship. Friendship takes many forms. When we love someone and have loved someone for many years, friendship above all, is what gets us through the days and nights.

Whether you are in love, missing a loved one, looking for love or just need a friend, this poem is for you.

Blessings to you, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

I was standing by the window

Staring out to space

Wondering if I could find a friend

To stop me feeling out of place.

Then out of nowhere you appeared

With your jolly point of view,

Taking life so lightly

That I believed in you.

I don’t know where you came from;

Were you just out of sight

Like the sun, waiting behind the clouds

To dazzle me with light?

You seemed to gather my sadness,

And discard it like a cloak

I’d never need to wear again,

With one uplifting stroke.

You gave me help to find my way

To somewhere I belong,

Gave me your time, just like a gift

I’d waited for so long.

I don’t know where you came from

But you changed my point of view;

Your heart is surely golden

And I believe in you.

img_0113(C) Lyn Halvorsen