In Celeste Ng’s Little FIres Everywhere, one of the characters makes a toasted bread, butter, and caramelized sugar sandwich to ease “a low day.” We all have low days from time to time. Here are some of the things I do to turn a gloomy day around.
- Go for a drive. My botched eye surgery means I cannot drive on the highways, but, on the plus side, I’m always taking Sunday Drives in the Country and getting to enjoy the more sedate pace. Taking a drive through a scenic area can be soothing to the soul.
- Go for a walk. A good long walk can make everything seem better. If you can walk along water, even better. There’s something about seeing and hearing water that puts things in perspective.
- Make a good cup of tea. I drink gallons of tea all day using a teabag mashed into the Keurig. But if I want to relax, I have loose tea, in a proper tea bag, and use correctly boiled water and a timer to measure the steeping time. It’s not just that the tea is better (although Heavenly Cream has a lot over Red Rose!) but there is something meditative in the preparation process.
- Diffuse essential oils. I’m not an oil wizard like a lot of people I know, but diffusing oils has a lovely and calming effect. I like a mix of lavender, peppermint, and grapefruit, or Young Living’s Inner Child.
- Hug your pet (or someone else’s pet – just ask first!) From my work with my former pup who was a therapy dog, I witnessed first-hand the calming effects of a dog. Teddy is just starting to get out of his nippy puppy stage so he’s starting to be soothing.
- Put on lipstick. Put on a nice, bright lipstick. Red in fall and winter. Pink in summer and spring.
- Read a Devotional. I always have low days when I stray too far from the Word. I’m still loving Melanie Shankle’s Everyday Holy as a way to reconnect.
- Watch The Shack. The movie is kookier than the book, but the theology is incredibly comforting. Plus, Octavia Spencer always makes one believe that everything is going to be OK.
- Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. It needs a language warning, but the drama is epic. No matter what kind of crazies are stirring up trouble in your life, they likely don’t hold a candle to these larger-than-life personalities.
- Play some good music. I know it’s as basic as liking Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Hunter boots, but Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten never fails to cheer me.
Update: I was so sad to hear the news about Kate Spade. The world lost a creatively beautiful soul. If your low days won’t lift, or you have any thoughts of self-harm, please seek help. You are needed, wanted, and loved.