Over a dozen readers’ tips for rough days.

In yesterday’s post I confessed to my occasional habit of taking extended bus journeys if I’m feeling grim, then asked what readers do when they’re going through a tough time.

There were stacks of great comments. Busloads in fact. So I thought I’d bring you some edited highlights.

Maybe one or two will inspire you. Thanks, everyone, for their super suggestions.

Like me, Patricia T. has been known to get on the bus when things get rocky, although she’s fortunate enough to have a bus that winds its way through narrow Devon lanes.

Jude takes the bus ride thing to a whole new level, fantasising that one day she might stay aboard after her usual stop, and travel the length of the country. Now that’s what I call a bus ride.

Sue S. had a great reflection on why heading off on a bus might work, noting that she can relax when she’s out of the house because her To-Do list doesn’t hover over her. Sue P. agreed with this notion.

Lostinspace, who lives in France, is going to try the bus idea in Paris, but says it’s a shame that Parisian buses aren’t double-deckers as “the top deck is such a good place to disconnect.”

Others have favourite destinations they like to visit.

Cate H., for example, is a fan of heading for the coast on a grey day, Brighton being her resort of choice.

Christine M. finds comfort in the reassurance of a favourite coffee shop, to be surrounded by others without the need to interact with anyone except the barista.

Andrew James C. says that driving through the snow-covered Hungarian countryside recently with his wife and son gave them a much-needed sense of time and space.

And Engelchen’s technique? Head off to the nearest town, and play a people-watching tourist – with a glass of wine and a bite to eat.

Getting out in the fresh air is another popular approach.

“A Friend of this Blog” finds great solace in taking the dog for a long walk, using one of those plastic throwers to play long-distance fetch, and says “My dog is better than drugs…”

Katie loves to get out and do some gardening on her rougher days. She says getting her hands in the soil makes her feel connected to the Earth (and the earth, presumably, Katie).

Martin S. has a super suggestion, which is going for a walk with headphones and a podcast.

Then there are a bunch of less pigeon-hole-able ideas.

For example, Karl recommends a number of strategies, including remembering that there are others much worse off than yourself.

Cathy uses four techniques when she’s low. She texts people to keep in contact without getting overwhelmed. She knits or sews. She listens to radio plays, to get some ‘virtual’ human contact. (Love that idea Cathy.) She also tries to get out for a walk.

Janis says she tries to do something “creative, different or new that I haven’t done before,” to break the monotony, and also recommends a book called The Emergency Poet by Deborah Alma, which sounds fascinating.

DIB checked that I was interested in hearing about more unusual strategies, then certainly delivered on that front by confessing to enjoying horror stories on grim days, because it allows DIB to breathe a sigh of relief that “at least … you don’t … have to worry about a zombie attack.” DIB did very responsibly add that this unusual approach probably wouldn’t work for everyone. Quite.

Finally, a poignant reminder from someone who signs themselves Black Dog that, at times, even the tried and tested tips don’t work. Going through a particularly bad spell at the moment (sorry to hear that) Black Dog says: “I’ll go get my duvet and climb under it… This too shall pass, I just wish it would hurry the hell up.

I’m afraid a lot of us may know that feeling now and then.

9 thoughts on “Over a dozen readers’ tips for rough days.

  1. Devon lanes are an interesting case in point. If you drive a car along them, you see nothing but hedges. However, if you take the bus you can see over the hedges and the landscapes/ seascapes. I’ve encountered the same experience in Somerset and Suffolk, though not to the same extent. Driving across Dartmoor or Exmoor can be a huge disappointment for much of the way.

    1. After an epiphany last year and some tough talking from a dear friend, I had a career change! I now drive the bus and it is awesome! I turn up, have to smile at people and be nice and take them safely to their destination. It is the best decision I have made, and seriously, a lot of people just ride to the end and turn back round. I was a social worker but now I help people in a different way and go home happy 😀

  2. It’s a horrid day today, cold pouring with rain, but yes it could be much much worse. I’m sitting at the computer somehow managed to find some meditation lovely music (which by some miracle had flagged up saying lovely music for Patricia Tonkin how spooky is that) and I’m taking up the bottoms of my husbands trousers that I’ve meaning to do for sometime. Yes I am lucky, retired don’t have to anything , why do I get depressed, I’m Bipolar, don’t smoke, drink, eat the right foods, but do notice what people say and mull over things. Have done CBT hour session yes I can do that go out of the room, get on the bus, and pick up on other peoples conversations about someone has died, or very ill, or some tragedy and I’m back to my ususal self, how do I change 74 years of thinking the way I do in an hour session, yes I have to practice easier said than done for me.
    Hope your weather is back to sun
    Bye for now,
    Pat Tonkin, good old Devon.

  3. A message for Lostinspace … try the bus route 72 … it’s beautiful from Hotel de Ville to Pont Mirabeau along the Seine, or the 52 from Opera to the 16th arrondissement via l’Etoile.
    I think the 62 is pretty good too taking the other side of the Seine from the 72. 😊

  4. My apologies to you, Jon, & your readers if my response to your last post “shocked” or upset anyone. This was, certainly, not my intention.

    1. Absolutely, definitely, certainly, not the slightest need to apologise.

      And I’m sorry if my paraphrasing of your post led you to think I meant any criticism, DIB.

      Very far from it, I think it’s fantastic to have found this strategy. I might even give it a try myself!

      1. Thanks, Jon, for responding. No, it wasn’t your “paraphrasing” that worried me.

        I was just looking at the other responses & thought mine was way out of line, in comparison. (You DID ask for peculiar responses, right?) Smile.

        I would probably only recommend this strategy to people, like me, who don’t manage high levels of stress well & have “anxiety” issues go into over-drive when under tremendous stress.

        On the other hand, I’ve been told I’m from another planet or something, so maybe my reasoning is a bit skewed.

        I love your posts. “Moodscope” has never been the same without you. So, I thank you for your “Moodnudges.” Your writing is awesome – and uplifting.

        All the best to you!

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