A few weeks ago my father emailed me to say that he was watching SNL and he saw me on TV. The Edible Arrangement commercial I was in aired during the first commercial break. The first commercial. Ya know, the one that’s sometimes a fake commercial. Well, that’s when this aired. So, in my proud father’s eyes I was on SNL. Kinda.
The results are in: 2016 is a dumpster fire. Personally and professionally my year has been fine but everytime I check in on current events it seems like the world is going to hell in a child made designer knock-off handbasket. To top it off, here in Vancouver, we’ve just endured nearly two months of rain. Despite living on the wet coast for most of my adult life I can’t deny that I’m a prairie girl at heart; I need that sweet sunshine!
So to fight the downward spiral of Seasonal Affective Disorder that I sometimes experience I’ve dedicated myself to some new routines/ habits/ tactics to pack S.A.D. and everything it owns in a box to the left. Here are five things that I’ve been doing to keep my frown upside down.
One: Log Off
After obsessively clicking on article after article trying to make sense with the world post November 8, aka the day many white people got woke to racism in America, I decided to take a break from The Social Network because it was dragging me down.
I have only enjoyed the world without status updates for a little over a week, but it’s going pretty well. I’m going to check in once a week for the next little while but I’m already convinced it’s improving my mental health.
Since logging off of Facebook I am no longer seeing fake news in my life. I’m going straight to respected news outlets. I am no longer seeing terrible articles by actors I met 8 years ago whom I kept on my friends list in the hopes that one day they’d attend one of my shows. Bonus: I’m also missing out on said actors status updates about the work they’ve booked or how #grateful they are to follow their dreams. Newsflash: I should de-friend some people.
Two: Move it, Move it
You know what’s better than sitting on your couch watching Netflix? Getting off of it. I have gone for a walk whenever there is sunshine or break in the downpour. I’ve also made exercise an important part of my daily routine. I go to a horrible chain gym but I love the people watching and I’m trying to get out and dance whenever I can. I have never left the gym or dance floor feeling worse. My spirits are always lifted.
I highly recommend Dance Dance Party Party (Tuesday night @ Mt Pleasant Community Centre 8:15 PM), it’s only $7 to drop in.
Three: Get Cultured
Last week I managed to get to see a play, a sketch show, attend a literary event, and I went to a square dance. AND I pulled this off without Facebook! Do you know how hard it is to find people to hang out with you last minute without that site? I pretty much forgot who I knew in the city. I persevered and scrolled through my phone’s contact list and connected with friends and with culture. My heart was touched and my perspective was lifted above the clouds. Art is going to be what pulls us through these dark days and I’m not just talking about winter.
Four: Chocolate! Coffee!
Get some caffeine in your body! It’s working for me. I usually have coffee between 11:30 AM and 2 PM and chocolate between 5 PM – 8 PM. My body is quite sensitive to stimulants so a little bit at the right time really does the trick. Is there any science behind this? Maybe. I’m sure I could find an article online to support it, but it might be false or heavily biased. All I can say is that it’s working for me.
Of course, if you don’t like coffee or chocolate you don’t have to consume it, but if you do let me be your enabler … in moderation.
I’ve kept up a daily meditation practice for the last two years. I’m currently on a 170+ day streak. (Pats self on back). Taking just 10-20 minutes a day to focus on my breath and thoughts is like hitting a reset button in my mind. On days when my monkey mind is too chatty I switch to a guided meditation to hold my hand through the experience.
Other things that are working for me: dreaming about swimming in sunny weather and then playing with kittens, hanging out with friends, making sure I get my veggies, journaling, reading books, and trying to not be so hard on myself.
Some other self care I’m planning on doing soon include: a visit to Golden Feet, getting a massage, pretending that I’m in a tropical paradise at Shameful Tiki Room, and dancing at Calabash’s Class of 94 night.
Of course, if you are experiencing prolonged depression and other S.A.D. symptoms, you should go to your doctor. There’s no harm in it.
What do you do? How are you going to get through the gloomy winter this year?
Here's 16 year old me rocking a McMurder t-shirt while working the door at a rave/punk rock gig in 1996 to remind you that tonight is #teenangstnight @foxcabaret Show at 8 pm, tickets available at the door. I've organized a fantastic group of people to share their embarrassing old diaries, notebooks, screenplays, poems, song lyrics, and more for your entertainment on this emo, rainy day. #Vancouver #eastvan #comedy #storytelling #mcmurder #emo #rave #90sfashion #naturalcurls #hennadyedhair #embarrassingmyself #noshame
This Saturday, November 19 is the last Teen Angst Night of 2016.
As a Canadian I’ve been shocked and appalled by the results of the American election so I’ve decided that 20% of all ticket sales will go to the American Civil Liberties Union who work to protect civil liberties in America. My teenage self, who protested her heart out in Calgary at events like Take Back The Night in the 90s (see photo above), would want me to take action.
We need to laugh. We need to love one another.We need to listen to each other. We need to speak up.
I’ll also be sharing some of my high school dramatic political action poetry and… some of my awful journals from Christmas 95 because it’s getting to be that time of year.
Teen Angst Night
Saturday, November 19 | show at 8 PM sharp
Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street
Tickets are $10 on eventbrite before Friday midnight or $15 at the door.
Guys, I’m involved in two different events in the very near future and I’m doing something I rarely do; I’m NOT producing them. Did I just blow your mind?
Thursday (aka tomorrow) I’m hosting (aka MCing) a singles event at HiVE Vancouver. It’s a little known fact that there’s no ring on my finger (except twice a week when I audition for mom parts in commercials) and I will be helping fellow solo acts navigate the awkwardness of an event where you publicly declare your dating status to the room. (Ok, no one is going to make you get up on stage and declare anything, you’ll just have to wear a sticker or something… I don’t know I’m not producing this, I’m only hosting.)
Hey, if I can get people to share their embarrassing old diaries and poetry at Teen Angst Night, I for sure can get you to talk to that cutie across the room.
Details about this Singles Mingle event can be found HERE.
Oh you don’t want to click the link? Fine.
DATE AND TIME: Thu, October 27, 2016 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM PDT
LOCATION: Buzz #210, 128 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G9
$12 at door
$10 in advance**link above
Friday, November 4 I’m judging Literary Death Match at the Fox Cabaret.
This is literally one of my favourite events in the world. I first saw it in London waaaay back when I was living there. Then I WON the very first LDM in Vancouver. Then I was a judge in 2012 (I think) at the LDM Edinburgh Book Festival. AND THEN I hosted LDM Vancouver #2. I’m a triple threat at this show. There are only 2* other people in THE WORLD who can say that!
Check out all the awesome people involved.
DATE AND TIME: Fri, November 4, 2016 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM PDT
LOCATION: The Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C9
Cost: $12 presale; $15 at the door
*I made up this fact but we can fact check this on November 4 at the show!
Have you ever read a poorly written novel and thought to yourself, who publishes this crap? Or come across a hilariously out of date self-help book in a thrift store? Perhaps you flipped through Sarah Palin’s/ Justin Beiber’s/ R. Kelly’s etc. autobiography and guffawed at her/his life story. Well, that’s what Say Wha?! is all about.
At Say Wha?! engaging and charismatic performers put their comedic spin on some of the worst writing in print.
I’m so excited to be bringing this show back after a long hiatus. It’s always fun and these readers are something special. I hope to see you there tomorrow!
Wednesday, October 19
Show starts at 8 PM
Cottage Bistro*, 4468 Main Street (between 28 and 29 ave)
$10 at the door
* Food and drinks available. Check out their website for more info.