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The blues.

December 3, 2018

Sadness is funny. Everybody experiences it, nobody talks much about it, and it always sucks. I've dealt with a lot of sadness for a long time in life, but I've never really been open to talking about it. Maybe that's part of the reason it's been so hard to get over certain hills but I've been more open about it recently and I think it might be helping. Whether it be missing home, seasonal sadness, or that all too familiar weight that numbs your body to everything but pain-here are some things I've learned help me when I'm not feeling 100%. 

 

1) Celebrating small victories. 

Taking a walk. Working for 10 minutes. Making lunch. 

Sometimes the easiest things feel like the hardest when you're not at the top of your game. I've learned to always celebrate small victories. At the end of the day, looking back on all the small victories helps me realize that I didn't waste my day (and better yet, maybe I'm not a waste like your mind too often tells you during these times--which is important to remind yourself is NOT true). It helps you feel productive. Small victories I celebrate during my days: Drinking a whole bottle of water. Then another. Sending an email. Writing out a list. Working for 10 minutes on a monologue. Whatever goals you have, break them down into little steps, and as you go on, checking off more and more little victories fuels you. Even if you only get one thing done--even if its just drinking a whole bottle of water--fuck yeah! You drank one whole bottle of water. You accomplished a goal today. As time goes by, it will get easier. 

 

2) Do things that make you happy. 

This is one of my favorite things to do, and my phone is FILLED with lists and lists of things that make me happy. Even writing a list of things that make me happy... makes me happy! I have go to videos I watch whenever I feel a hint of sadness or need a pick me up (Bad Lip Reading of Star Wars "SEAGULLS-Stop it now!" {highly highly suggest holy shit}). This one may take longer if you're struggling to find things that make you happy. Try doing it the moment you feel sadness creeping up on you, or if you're in the middle of a slump, it's perfectly okay to take your time in writing out a list of things you know really make you smile. Luckily, with it being the holidays right now, there are discounts on a lot of classes, activities, and products that may go along with things that make you happy. For example, I want to start taking Muay Thai classes again, and I found a place by my house that is having unlimited classes for a month on sale for $45! I probably won't go on longer, because it'll be an arm and a leg, but for a month, maybe I'll go often and maybe it'll work. What's the harm? 

Here is a list of some of the things that make me happy: Dogs. Boba. Concerts (in specific, some kind of metal show where people are moving around a ton--I love being in a crowd at a show and dancing and singing and going crazy). Watermelon. Soup. Watching tv/movies (doubles as studying as an actor--so you can count it as a small victory!). Spending time with my partner (who has been very patient with me and understands when I'm not feeling my best, so thank you Dave). Taking walks. Being in the sunlight. Being by water. Exploring. Cooking. Building/fixing things. Any kind of art. Cleaning. Making travel plans/booking travel plans/watching travel videos and vlogs. 

& more. You get the point.

 

3) Take your time & take care of yourself. 

This is one I struggle with so much. So much. I often burn the candle at both ends and I realize I have been doing it when there is no candle left anymore and I am wondering why I took a 14 hour nap. It's OKAY to not feel great. You're a human. Let the valleys in your life make the top of the hills more worth it. I've learned to try and embrace sadness and use it as a time to grow a little. However you use that in your life, however you use the time you're not feeling well, let it be a journey of your own (as cliche as it sounds, it's so honestly true). Some days I have to remind myself to eat, to shower, to drink water. But it's okay if you want to lay in bed for a little longer. It's okay if you just want to sit down and watch tv all day. Take time to heal. Take time to rest. Take hot showers, make yourself tea, wrap yourself up in a blanket in your favorite pajamas. You'll be okay. Give yourself a break. Allow yourself that. 

 

4) Journal. 

Just get all your thoughts out.To a friend. To yourself. Just try to empty your mind as much of all the shit that's going on in it.Give your mind a break. Unleash the weight you feel yourself carrying onto paper. You will feel lighter. 

 

5) Be honest with yourself and with others. 

Often when I'm feeling sad and I know it's not the normal day to day momentary sadness or like a PMS kind of sadness, I will let the people around me know. I'll give my partner a heads up that I am not feeling well and to please be patient with me if I'm seemingly off (& that it's not their responsibility to make me feel better. Just being by my side and waiting it through is help enough). If I notice I keep flaking on plans with friends (sadly, this is a habit of mine) I try to be honest with them, as well. It's hard and sometimes I worry about people not understanding. But hell, if they don't understand that you need space or time for yourself when you're not feeling good, why have a friend that doesn't respect that? The hard part is admitting to yourself that you're not feeling your best. And from there, sometimes it seems like it rolls down the hill.But I found that giving people closest to me a heads up helps a lot. Also, be honest with yourself, as well. If you're not feeling your best, you don't have to push yourself to your next breaking point. You don't have to take on a zillion more personal projects. You don't have to swim the fucking English channel because you're feeling shitty. Of course, there are GREAT things that can happen to you when you accomplish goals when you're not at the top of your game, but don't don't don't don't force yourself to do something your body and mind are not ready to do. Be honest with yourself about how much you can handle and how much you WANT to handle. This is your time to heal whatever you need to heal. This is your time for nothing but honesty. 

 

 

 

So, maybe you're dealing with a bit of the winter blues, or life has stressed you out, you just ended a show you put a lot of effort into and now you're not sure what the next step is, or maybe you miss home and crave the feeling of heat on your skin. 

 

No matter what you're feeling, sadness and depression fucking suck. I am so sorry you're going through this and feeling down. But it will get better. Even if just for a few minutes. And those are the moments we live for. You're not alone in whatever demons you're facing. 

 

I hope this helps you as much as these things help me. 

ash

 

 

 

 

 

*****

Here is a picture of me this summer. My body is not perfect, but I was so happy when this picture was taken. Imperfect but happy. That's something I'm okay with. Plus, I feel I get sad during the wintertime a lot, so moments in the sun really really really make me happy. So I'll think about that today.

 

 

 

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