In the spectrum of happiness, I think friends and family would rank me high on the scale – maybe an 8, with an obnoxious tendency towards being passionate and perky. But sometimes I have a day – or two – or even a weekend when I feel wan and weepy and woeful. We all do, I suppose, especially during the holidays.
But this time I have decided I should just own it and revel in the self-destructive glory of it. So when you are blue, here are 10 ways I have noted to stay in that negative space and wallow to your heart’s content.
- Eat junk food. When I’m in a funk, I make sure not to cook anything myself. Eat only fast food or delivery. To make the nutrition negativity is a complete wash, binge on cookies (Golden Oreos are my favorite) and then move on to candy (Milk Duds and Reese’s) or ice cream. Don’t bother to put your treats in a plate or bowl. Just bring the whole package or carton with you as you stay immobile in your Lazy-boy, which brings me to #2.
- Binge-watch television. With the advent of Netflix, this is easier than ever. You can spend hours and hours enraptured. You don’t even have to open the blinds or know what day it is. Make sure not to binge-watch comedies, though. That might lift your spirits a little too much, which is counter to your goal of embracing your self-pity. Instead, watch something intense and/or sad. A good Law and Order SVU marathon will keep you numb and empty with its heart-wrenching cases of rape, child sexual abuse, human trafficking, etc. Guaranteed not to release you from your desolation as you consider all the horrible ways humans can harm one another and society. As an added bonus, it might even disturb your sleep or haunt your dreams.
- Don’t shower or bathe. No need to cleanse yourself or feel refreshed. Wear your rattiest robe; don’t put on any real clothes. Don’t brush your teeth or comb your hair, even be deodorant optional if you dare. Let the grunginess of your heart inside be matched by your appearance on the outside.
- Don’t do any housework. Let the dishes pile up. Let the dust bunnies breed. Forget about that pile of laundry. It’ll be there waiting for you, don’t worry. Don’t sweep or vacuum or mop or clean out the refrigerator. Make sure the space around you is chaotic and cluttered. Remember, you are on a mission to be miserable.
- Don’t read a book. This diversion will likely distract you with enjoyable stories of people and places and events that your mind will connect to. You could actually take pleasure in the journey. You must avoid anything that helps you escape from that deep dark hole, and an entertaining novel might help you climb out.
- Don’t go outside. Those errands to the drugstore or grocery or even the beloved taco truck down the street can wait. You don’t want to hear the birds, see the sky or trees or smell the air. In fact, don’t even look outside or open your door unless it’s the pizza delivery person. Make sure you keep your blinds closed and use as little light as possible. Only what you need to see what you’re eating or change the channel on the remote.
- Don’t exercise. No treadmill, definitely no walking or jogging or biking outside. Ignore your body’s cravings for activity. Just live in your lassitude and laziness and crawl deeper inside your fleece throw in the recliner. Dozing off in your chair several times while watching television also helps feed your languor.
- Skip church. Connecting to others in your faith community is a bad idea. They may remind you that someone truly cares. Hearing the choir sing the psalms or the congregation singing Alleluia together will mess up your malaise, for sure. And of course, knowing God is always with you will give you hope. You don’t want that.
- Obsessively scroll Facebook. Who needs a real life when you can live vicariously? Although you may see something funny or clever, it will undoubtedly be overshadowed by suddenly realizing you’ve spent hours trolling. Revel in the anger and outrage and disbelief in humanity generated in you by reading the inane and insane comments posted by people about every current news or cultural event or political topic. There is something so perfectly depressing about the time suck of Facebook. The way everyone can overshare and post pithy sayings about life. Or photos of malnourished animals, or demands that you say Amen to something in order to be blessed or come into money, or some such BS.
- Last but not least, make sure not to make any human contact whatsoever. Don’t take advantage of the multitudes of volunteer opportunities in the community or shop for an Angel Tree child or family. Also, don’t message or text, and definitely don’t call, any of the friends or family who love you. They would be more than happy to let you ramble on about your worries and issues and ennui. You must pretend you are totally alone in the world to truly make this abject and heart-sick lethargy the complete package of despair. You know you can make it if you try.
So you have your marching orders, you know now what you must do. Now go forth, be un-merry, let your heart be heavy not light, and fester in your self-imposed sadness. I have faith that you can do it.