gloom sans doom

I woke up this morning under a cloud. Not a dark cloud or a rainy one, but a cloud.

There are a couple of identifiable factors at work this morning. The big one is lack of sleep. I haven't been sleeping well, or long, the past few nights. I go to sleep later and later, toss and turn more, and then get up earlier and earlier as Rory has her daily morning meltdown. Today she probably started before 6am; I couldn't even open my eyes until 6:18.

I've woken up the past couple of mornings feeling like I had a light or maybe even medium hangover. I'm guessing this is a combination of being too tired and not getting enough water the day before. Preventable, and all the more frustrating for that reason.

Rory is cranked to 11 when she first wakes up. She is loud and jumpy and herky-jerky - all around bad news for a zombie-tired me, who has to leash her up and take her out. Oh how I long for a yard for days like this.

It's light enough to need sunglasses by 6:30 now. But it's really overcast today, so the light didn't stab at my eyes when we went out. It was actually pretty nice, and there was a brown-grey cast on everything. Interesting. If I were motivated at all, I'd be playing with my camera.

But my instant pick-me-up is gone. I can't see the mountains when it's overcast. So, it's not even 6:30am and I am doing the work of picking myself up. Usually it's best to push myself through the fog, place an emphasis on 'doing stuff' so that the sense of accomplishment improves my feelings. That's what I did yesterday.

Not today.

Today it will probably involve lots of couch time to finish a book I'm reading, and lots of time spent listening to my favorite podcast. It's a knitting podcast done by a guy in Australia. The pick-me-up isn't instant like the mountains are, but it's pretty close. Probably no knitting or sewing - my current projects are taxing.

I realize I sound like a whiney baby. Believe me, I annoy myself more than I annoy you. Compared to most, I've got it ridiculously easy. I can pick and choose the work I do, I don't have to schlep to an office (not until July 6!) and nobody is tapping a foot expecting me to do things. I don't have kids, just a high-maintenance dog, and I come and go as I choose. The truth is, I am so grateful for my life the way it is. I set it up this way intentionally, knowing that I needed to have a short season of my life when being able to take care of myself was the priority. So I don't feel guilty on days like today when I take advantage of that. It's the reason why I (don't) do what I do(n't).

By the way, I've read that overeating sugars or carbs the night before will make you feel hungover the next morning. Have you ever experienced that?

How do you pick yourself up when you're having a bad mental health day? What are some of the constant, little things that lift your spirit? Do you make it a point to take care of yourself when the signs are there?


  1. Rory goes to eleven, huh? (said with British accent)

    You'll be going to an office?

    Overeating sugar/ carbs will always make you feel worse in the long-run. This is my preferred diet...haha, I would know...

  2. Rory's pretty much always at 11. It's more like 14 in the mornings.

    And yes! I got a job! A part-time one, starting in July. More nonprofity stuff.

  3. Ashley,

    So sorry to hear that your struggling! I've been having quite a few days like that myself-I realize it's only 6:30 in the morning (my son gets up between 5:30 and 6), and I'm already in a bad mood. As far as pick-me-ups go, I'm still trying to figure that out too. A gratitude journal and volunteering have been helpful to me. I also love to escape with some good fiction and/or a bubble bath. Sometimes working in my garden is a good pick me up too. I know you don't have a yard, but some container gardening could be fun. Sleep deprivation can definitely wear you down. I'm one of those people that NEEDS 8 hours. Since my kid is such an early riser, I've just resigned myself to going to bed earlier. ONe last suggestion: the book 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. I guarantee you'll have trouble picking that book up and NOT finding something to raise your spirits. It always makes me smile. Hope this week is a better one!


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