This post from Mickologist got me thinking about what calms me down when I feel anxious or what makes me feel better when the depression is clawing at the edges. There’s the usual things, like deep breathing, going for a walk, eating cake,
smoking weed, or having a lot to drink. But then there are the more specialized things.
Wolfie and Solstice, my two cats.
I can always calm down by cuddling with them. If I walk into my bedroom and call to Wolfie that it’s naptime or bedtime and pat the bed, she’ll come trotting in after me. She jumps on the bed and waits until I get comfy, then spins in circles like a dog and plops down on her own blanket, half on top of me so she can be as close as possible. She’s 7, but she suckles and kneads her blanket, as if she was a kitten drinking milk from her Mama. Cutest thing ever. When she’s suckling away, I “tsk tsk tsk” and call out to Solstice and she comes in. She jumps up on my other side, mews at me, and lays down by my head, usually flicking her Maine Coon tail in my face a few times as if she is stroking my forehead in a calming manner.
Friends, Family I’m very lucky in that my best friends are like family and my family are some of my best friends. No, really! I’ve known my bff Kelly since we were 12 (next year is out 25th anniversary) and my bff April for about 12 years now. I couldn’t get by without either of them. And my long-distance bff Mandy is my soul mate. Not my romantic soul mate, but my soul mate in that we’ve definitely shared past lives together before. We started writing as pen pals 25 years ago, and finally met for the first time last year, but she’s been like a sister to me for decades, and our lives followed eerily similar paths.
I’m really close to my family. My older sister is a great shoulder to lean on, and has always been a big influence on me (what I’m really saying is you can blame her for the way I turned out). My mom is one of my best friends and we hang out and talk a couple times a week. And I have an awesome Dad that I’ve always been close with, since I was a big tomboy and he used to let me tag along to cool places like archery tournaments and the gun range (and even shoot the guns!).
Writing Hence this blog. I know it sounds weird, but my hand gets tired and starts to cramp if I hold a pen too long to write longhand in a journal. And just keeping a journal on my computer kinda bores me. I guess I need the validation of knowing other people are reading what I’m writing. I mean, it makes sense. I’m a writer, after all. As in, I write books and shit.
Playing in Dirt Aka, gardening. Just something soothing about digging holes and picking weeds and planting pants. Plus, eating the stuff I grow is pretty kickass, too.
Reading My great escape. No matter how bad the depression gets, how overwhelming the anxiety, I can always pick up one of my favorite books and get lost in it for the 100th time. The last time it hit me hard, I reread my vampire series from the beginning (13 books) in less than 3 weeks. I’m at the point where I can quote whole passages from them now, but I can still find comfort in the arms of Wrath, Vishous, John Matthews, and the rest of the Brotherhood. As well as in any other of my zillion favorite books.
Swimming Best if it’s outside, like in the river or ocean, but even in an indoor pool, being in the water is one of the quickest ways to make me feel better. Nothing better than floating on my back, looking up at the sun and sky and clouds, and letting the water wash all your stress and problems away. If it’s winter and I can’t get to the indoor pool, I’ll take an extra long shower or bath and imagine my stress and sadness flowing down the drain.
Laughing I’ll take
sex laughter anywhere I can get it. Comedies, books, blogs, my friends, old pictures of myself in the 80’s… Lately it’s been through Pinterest. Yes, I know, just another way to waste hours of my day. But c’mon, it’s not like I’m doing anything important during the day (other than passing secret messages from the cats to the squirrels in the back yard) and Pinterest has some seriously fucked up funny shit on it. For reals. I’ll have full blown laughing fits sitting at home by myself as the cats signal to the squirrels for help and the mailman throws my mail in the vicinity of my mailbox before speed walking away from the crazy lady who is giggling like a stoned hyena with tears rolling down her face.