Today was not a good day. Stuff got muddled, communication wasn’t great and I spent most of the day wishing it was over already.  Today was awash with frustration and self doubt. How to let things just ‘roll off one’s back’ is still a great mystery to me. I really envy easygoing people who laugh nonchalantly at everything.  They truly are the lucky ones.

The days are already very short. I now leave for work in darkness and come home with the sun setting. My two hour commute is becoming more challenging to bear with every passing day. Squished in the morning, squished at night, on buses full of angry or oblivious people.  We live in a good area, but it is just too damn far away.

I felt so stressed out and depressed throughout last year’s winter and really don’t want to fall down that hole again. So when the negativity starts, I will try harder to channel it into something more productive. For example, I drew another owl:

When I feel angry, bitter, sad or lonely, then I will draw and/or paint. It may not “cure” anything, but at least art is productive right? At least more productive than complaining and feeling sorry for oneself. It’s important to have outlets and drawing and painting have usually only been mine to relieve boredom, but anger/sadness seem like good reasons to draw with pencils or paint too.

What do you do when you’ve had a bad day or are feeling unwell?


16 thoughts on “Channeling…

  1. Mindfulmerchant

    I don’t have any answers. Writing helps…sometimes. I started going to a naturopath because I was feeling so crappy. She put me on vitamin D and I get B 12 shots (as well as dietary changes and other supplements). Last winter I felt good – for the first time in years. This winter will be the test to see if it is the vitamins, or a fluke. I hope you have brighter days soon. Your owl picture is beautiful.

  2. Zhu

    Last year’s winter wasn’t so bad actually, it didn’t snow that much. I think my worst winter in Ottawa was the 2007-08 winter… we were literally stuck at home after two snow storms!

    I also noticed the days were getting shorter… depressing.

  3. Pauline Post author

    Mindfumerchant-I’ve never seen a naturopath before, but maybe I should look into it. Thanks and thanks! 🙂
    Zhu-Technically it wasn’t as bad as the winter before with the bus strike, but every winter is difficult for me. (I think that I have SAD) The main reason I haven’t left Ottawa is because of how beautiful the other seasons are here.

  4. kerri

    Your owl drawing is amazing!

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I can relate, I struggle with SAD during the winter and already feel that icky feeling creeping up on me now that the days are getting shorter. I take vitamin D (2,000 IU/day) and for the last few years I’ve been using a LiteBook for light therapy. I don’t really understand how shining a super bright light in my face first thing in the morning helps me feel better but it really has worked for me. I also make sure to make time for regular workouts during the winter to help keep those endorphins up.

  5. writerdood

    If I’m feeling down, I drink a LOT of coffee and get all wired. Then I write like a maniac. Sometimes I’ll draw, yes. I do enjoy that. I wish I had a little extra cash to buy some oil paints and canvas, but pencil to paper is still fun too.

    Redbull is a good alternative to the coffee attack too, and has LOTS of vitamin B in it.

  6. meanie

    when i feel a low mood coming on i make a list and strike things off – the list can have mundane items on it like empty dishwasher, put away laundry, but seeing things crossed off that list make me feel better, more productive.
    that is a long commute! do you take the bus? can you take along some reading?

  7. leashieloo

    It depends on how far gone I am. Sometimes I really need a good cry. Otherwise, I do something that I love to distract/cheer me up. Usually this involves eating comfort food, wearing pajamas, and watching copious amounts of television. Damn straight on your productivity, that’s a much better outlet than letting the blues get to you.

  8. Laura Best

    I honestly don’t have a lot of bad days, but when I do sometimes I just have to give in and allow myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling. Other times I write out what I’m feeling. I write and whine and then whine some more. I don’t stop until I feel better.

  9. Pearl

    Yeah, I spent that day waiting for it to be over too. Storm system, migraine, serious funk. Maybe it was an effluent from factory or solar flare. Or just these short days hopping on our last nerves.

  10. Foggy Dew

    I find bourbon works well for what ails me. Nothing like some good ol’ fashion Kentucky corn squeezin’s to put the day in a better perspective.

    Actually, the thing I’ve found that helps the most, and I don’t know how you do it living as close to the north pole as you do, is exercise. A good sweat will burn that fatigue out of ya.

  11. Pauline Post author

    Kerri-It sucks eh? I am skeptical on light therapy as well, but if it has helped you, maybe I’ll try it.
    Writerdood-Well that would certainly give you lots of..”pep”. Who needs sleep anyway right? 😉

  12. Pauline Post author

    Meanie-It does feel good to cross things off lists, that is true. I take the bus and try to distract myself by drawing or reading, but on some days I just get tired of it and wish that I could bicycle to work!
    Leishieloo-Thanks and your strategy sounds good. Maybe for me, I will try pyjamas, food and then paint. 😉
    Laura Best-I’m not as good at writing as you are, but I see your point. Getting it all out there is definitely better than keeping it all in.:)

  13. kilax

    I can totally relate to your commute. It takes me about an hour and 45 minutes to get from my house to the office and I am just SO SICK OF IT! I hate being around so many people all the time… all of those cranky train people. And we also live in a nice area… too far from work. 😦

    I hope things are getting better!

    When I have had a bad day, I like to veg on the couch and watch a movie or go for a run.

  14. Pauline Post author

    Jen-It really does involve “forcing” oneself some days doesn’t it. I admire your persistence!
    Pearl-I think it’s the colder weather that makes us tired, which makes us unhappy. (Well unless you’re a snowbird, then you have it made)
    Thoughtsappear-Whatever works for ya! 🙂
    Foggy Dew- Oh we get exercise up here in the “arctic tundra”. Just last week, I carved some ice blocks for a new addition to my house, took my dog sled out for a run to the grocery store and got chased by a polar bear. I’m sure I burned some calories. 😉
    (I’m kidding, and FYI, Ottawa is not that close to the north pole. We’re in the central eastern region of Canada, five hours from Toronto)
    Kilax-Your commute is even longer than mine! Do you bring your ipod on the train? Thanks and I also enjoy watching movies to take my mind of my own unhappiness! 🙂

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