There are times when you need to distract yourself from reality. Times when a glass, or two, of wine just doesn’t cut it and all your friends are out for the evening or just plain tired of hearing about your divorce. These are the times when you must become creative in order to circumvent the possibility of doing something stupid like driving off a cliff or signing up, yet again, for Match.com. Neither of these scenarios will have the desired effect, which is to get you out of your temporary funk and besides, the same old losers are still on Match so don’t kid yourself that this time around will be any different.
The tumultuous ups and downs of post-divorce angst mixed with the strains of alternating self-loathing and self-pity make for a head-splitting cocktail. And because I myself have suffered at the hands of this wretched concoction one too many times, I have compiled a list of things that make me feel better than the fore-mentioned alternatives; here are just a few.
1. ENJOY A SPRITZ: The great thing about putting on a bit of your favorite perfume, even if doing so while hanging out in your PJ’s, is that it will make you feel like you’re all dressed up with somewhere to go. And unlike the scent of your ex-husband’s after shave or cologne, your own scent won’t trigger your olfactory system, bringing back the memories you’d rather keep buried beneath the layers of rage and disdain you still harbor for him.
2. PUT ON YOUR PEARLS: Or your favorite bracelet or earrings or all of the above. Playing dress-up will make you feel like you’re stepping into someone else’s shoes for a few moments and when you’re feeling blue anybody’s shoes will fit the bill as long as they aren’t yours.
3. GO TO THE DOGS: Play with your dog. Take her for a walk. Give her a good brushing and a doggie treat. Or tease your cat, talk to your bird, feed your fish or chase your Ferret around the living room. The beauty of spending quality time with a furry, finned or feathered friend is that they’re really good listeners and they don’t talk back; didn’t you get enough of that from your ex?
4. I KNOW IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL: Put on your favorite CD’s and play them full blast while you dance around your house like a mad woman. Nothing shakes the blues loose like a good spate of frenzied, sweat-induced dancing. Plus, you can sing along at the top of your lungs, even if you can’t carry a tune. Hopefully your neighbors won’t call the cops and you’ll feel a hell of a lot better.
5. BAKE IT UP: I can really go overboard in the food department sometimes, especially when I have a fire burning in my head that I can’t seem to douse. My trick for having my cake and eating it to, as it were, is to keep some frozen cookie dough on hand from which I can bake two or three cookies at a time. This way I can indulge without overdoing it. It feels decadent and satisfies that urge to eat everything that isn’t nailed down.
6. WRITE ON: Really, nothing will clear out the cobwebs of confusion and angst like a good old fashioned journaling session. Write for yourself or better yet, write the letter to your ex that says everything you’re still harboring in the deepest, darkest confines of your heart and then burn it or tear it into a million pieces. It’s little rituals like this that will free you from the unwanted burdens your thoughts have probably become. Lose a few pounds of pent-up frustrations; negative thoughts weigh you down more than you think they do.
7. TREAT YOURSELF TO A MANI-PEDI: Even if you don’t want to spend the little bit of cash it takes to have your nails painted and polished and opt for the do-it-yourself method, nothing makes you feel better than a manicure. It cures all your man troubles (hence the name man-i-cure), if only for a few minutes, and even when you’re naked you’re all dressed-up.
I could go on and on but this is where I hand the reins of creative stress management to you, putting them firmly in your capable hands, by encouraging you to write a list of your own. Even something as simple as going out and buying a hat you’ll never wear or trying on a dozen different wigs, none of which you’d be caught dead in, will be a great boon for your soul. And believe me, these acts will save you from doing something stupid like pretending you know how to cut and color your own hair which is dangerous territory to embark on even when you’re feeling A.O.K.