Ten Things You Might Try For Combatting A Persistent Bad Mood

Subtitle: Taking this opportunity to harness Truly Formidible Force that is my own personal brand of Attention Deficit Disorder & make one of those lists you surely must be craving these days.

Dear Reader: Will you please share your most successful methods for combatting the occasional lingering funk that undoubtedly hits us all at one time or another? No really: you will do us all a favor if you'll leave a simple comment here, telling the world (or the 7 other people who will ultimately read this page... whatever,) how you buck up and turn your bad moods around. Because this is the third day, running, in which I have had to face decidedly UN-me perspectives and recognize the presence of Some Serious Crankiness, I thought it might be fun to actually come up with a plan for combatting my own irritable mood. Perhaps by the time I actually publish it, thinking back over the day's useful (and less so) attempts to get a handle on this day before it's completely wasted, I'll know whether or not it's worked. In no particular order:

  1. Music. Just realized I've been working trying to focus on work all morning without the presence of music. Which is just ludicrous, really. Of Course I'm in a bad mood! (Although this excuse wouldn't have held water yesterday or That Evil Monday.) I chose a mix of guys whose voices I generally enjoy: David Gray, Travis, Jason Mraz, Elvis Costello and Old Stone Revue, a local band I haven't seen in months which is an error I should fix really soon, if they're playing any local gigs.  So far this choice, alone, has made a positive impact.
  2. Acknowledge The Problem. Which is multi-faceted, really, but the most imminent block to my day's productivity is A Headache Of Truly Mythic Proportions. Obsess and perseverate over the headache, and come close to convincing myself that I probably have an inoperable brain tumor. Force myself to recall my eye doctor's "Do you have a lot of headaches?" during my last eye exam, after which she imparted to me the interesting news that my optic nerve is itsy bitsy and apparently I'm lucky not to have headaches every day of my life.
  3. Recline on the sofa and channel a habit of my less sane conventional, deceased grandmother by moaning into the telephone, trying to relay Just The Right Level Of Intensity of my headache. Which of course does no good whatsoever, other than to cause others to feel bad and likely wish they'd called someone else.
  4. Further acknowledge that while sometimes headaches do take care of themselves, that's no guarantee to a pain-free existence. Pick my moaning self up off said sofa and take some ibuprofen. About 6 hours later than I should have.
  5. Having felt so empowered by the popping of pain medication, contine channeling the voices which declare "Better Living Through Chemistry" and ingest an Adderall, too, for the first time this week. Of course I hate the idea of popping pills to get through a day. Naturally I do. I'd rather do some nice yoga and drink some herbal tea. Get Real. As if. Smile as the pill goes down, recalling the likelihood that it will return to me some modicum of focus followed by the ability to actually concentrate and stop confusing my clients who are accustomed to my ability to turn projects around in a timely manner. Ignore the semi-persistent voice from the way back of my mind that won't quite let me forget some of the less-appealing side-effects of this prescription, since I really, really, R E A L L Y do need to get a lot of work done today.
  6. Read, and then reread, the story of a woman named Sofia who was the victim of a detonated landmine yet miraculously lived and went on to create more than a "Mere" admirable life.  Add Henning Mankell's two books about Sofia, Secrets in the Fire, and Playing With Fire, to my reading list. Remind myself that a) I have legs, and b) just because my attention span is at times most formidible an opponent to the success of a career that demands an ability to focus on an extreme number of details and juggle a variety of tasks that aren't all as fun as the actual design elements, and some days the need to almost literally fight with my very brain to accomplish those required tasks, I have a gloriously cushy existence when compared to the challenges faced by many of the people in cities I may never visit. Decide to honor the struggles of fellow-humankind and do everything in my power to stop whining about things that probably don't matter that much if I look at the big picture a little more closely than I might most days.
  7. Dig a little deeper than usual into my wardrobe while choosing today's attire. Recalling the pleasant sensation of noticing a few approving glances from more than one of the attendees at last night's Linking Greensboro Networking event, decide perhaps dressing for comfort Just Because I Can isn't necessarily a good rut to have fallen into. Subsequently chose a cute top which A Self-Respecting Woman would wear in public when I dressed for the day, rather than my default secret attire which could by rights qualify me as a candidate for What Not To Wear on those days when I'm not meeting with clients.
  8. Further recall my pleasure in seeing people last night whom I don't normally run into.

    Danielle Hatfield,
    for example, to whom I didn't even offer the tiniest hat tip in yesterday's rant over whether or not I was even attending, in spite of the fact that I know she and others worked tirelessly to pull this event together, in hopes of connecting local people who might be able to collaborate and help each other out. (Of course we know there are other reasons, too, that some people attend such events, which was most evident as Dena and I walked toward the entrance to Studio B and had to hold my tongue (mostly) concerning the length of the babydoll dress the cute attendee ahead of us was sporting as she sashayed into the throng awaiting us.)

    Another person it was lovely to see was Tom Lassiter with whom I shared a group dinner at last year's Converge South, then later ran into at one of the Dot Matrix Project events and have thought of contacting each time a client wants to discuss the best online options for presenting video on their sites, but have never bothered to do before. Tom was most gracious when, in spite of immediate recognition of my mistake, I called him Ed (a name I oddly used recently when I met yet another person whose name was decidedly not Ed.) Tom had a kind sense of humor about my error, and responded with equal measure by voicing the possibility that my own name might be Candice, or some other alternative to Melody!
  9. Read a bunch of post-BlogHer09 pieces which had the remarkable power of making me simultanously wistful that I had been there and smugly pleased that I had no part in at least the less-admirable elements of this year's female-focused blogger con. Remind myself, harnessing the more balanced and diplomatic of my faculties, that people are people and there is no chance on earth that more than a thousand unique individuals will converge in a single location without presenting evidence of grace, generosity, kindness and helpfulness while at once offering up the equally-prevalent traits that I don't think I'm going to give any attention to here, since I realize there must have been far more incidents of the former and I think I'm just going to enjoy focusing on the positive now, after all. (In spite of having spent far too much time earlier wrapped up in the blog-based retelling of some of those less-admirable qualities that could have surely made my attendance there at least a little more stressful than I like to actually encounter on any given day.)
  10. Made a list. The sheer act of naming something...of actually writing it down, allows me to calm my mind and get a handle on things. And? Since writing this list took just about the same amount of time for that Adderall to kick in? I'm done now, and suddenly a sense of calm seems to have settled over my brain. Which means that as soon as I post this piece, I will return, once more, to the more important list that awaits me. Which would be the list that, once successfully addressed, will enable me to charge people some money and I will feel actually qualified to say I worked today. Which will very likely do more to lift my spirits than all the items on this list combined.

If you read to the end, a) thank you! and b) I'd still really like to hear your own list. I am surrounded by some really awesome people, many of whom are inspiring in their ability to harness positivity. A dose of your insights would be really welcome today!