I’ve been in a funk. Cold, gray winter days combined with a transition of power that has left our country divided and an onslaught of news that makes my head spin sapped me of my energy, creativity, and desire to write. I knew my mood was turning sour and since the last thing I wanted it to do was to affect our family, I made a conscious effort to do things that I knew would help bring back the light and laughter that I craved,
What worked for me might not work for everyone but since there are times where we get ourselves into a weird headspace, I thought I would share what helped me in case you’re feeling the same way. After all, we deserve to be at our best for us and our kids.
Carve Out Time for Yourself
As a parent, this is one of the most difficult things to do but it’s one of the most necessary. Last week I came across an article in the Washington Post called Why self-care is an important part of parenting, and how to make time for it by Lindsey Roberts. Roberts called “parents the generals of their household” in charge of our troops at home, aka children. She acknowledged that being on and at the ready for our kids can cause burnout and why the moments we know we should treasure, sometimes seem like chores. Her advice included saying no, starting a new hobby, or requesting alone time in the house.
What I did: I went for a run. My 4 miles with Oliver on a bright sunny was just what I needed to zone out for awhile and focus on something different while triggering much needed endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that lift our mood and promote overall well-being.
What you can do: Go for a walk, do something you love after the kids are in bed, indulge in a massage or mani/pedi, go to bed a little earlier and wake up before everyone else in your house to savor the quiet, use your lunch break to get out of the office and do something for you. The possibilities are endless!
Connect with Friends in Real Life
Text messaging and our social networks are great for keeping in touch but nothing beats catching up face to face time.
What I did: Meeting a friend for a mid-week lunch date helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in my funk and our brief after lunch shopping trip got me laughing again. Over the weekend my husband and I met up with friends who happen to be parents of our kids’ friends. It was nice to catch up somewhere other than the sidelines of the soccer field even if the conversation did include talking about our kids.
What you can do: That friend you’ve been meaning to get together with? Make plans now! Chances are they’ve been meaning to get in touch with you and they’d love to get together for lunch, coffee, or even on the weekend while your kids are playing together.
I love the interactions I have with friends on Facebook but last week it was too much. I felt sucked in to the articles that friends were posting on their News Feeds and my mood wasn’t helped by the rabbit hole of news that was void of positivity.
What I did: I limited my time on Facebook during the week and unplugged over the weekend. As someone who works in the world of social media, this was hard at first but I’ve found that popping on Facebook for work using my laptop and not opening it through the app on my phone has helped my sanity.
What you can do: Be mindful about your time with screens and how social media may be affecting you. Resolve to put down your phone, get off the computer, and turn off the TV at a certain time so you can take a break from what the world is throwing at us.
Escape with Laughter
When the weight of the world gets to be too much, it’s ok to escape by binging on movies or shows that will get you laughing. Like exercise, laughter is known to trigger the release of endorphins, decrease stress, and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Since laughter really is the best medicine, here are seven shows and movies that you can stream from Netflix right away to help lift your mood. I even included trailers so you can find something to make you laugh even faster!
Arrested Development— This Emmy-winning story of a wealthy family features level-headed son, Michael Bluth, taking over his family’s affairs when his father is imprisoned and working to keep them together even though his spoiled, dysfunctional family makes his job incredibly difficult.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt– What would you do if you were rescued from a doomsday clut and had to start your life over again in New York City? 29 year old Kimmy Schmidt is forced to navigate a world she didn’t even think existed anymore as she attempts to jump-start the adult life that had been taken away from her.
Summer Heights High— Called a mockumentary, Summer Heights High is a documentary series that satirizes high school life experience from the viewpoints of three individuals set in the in an outer suburb of Sydney. The first season kicks off with Ja’mie arriving at Summer Heights after transferring from a private school, Mr. G taking a bow as a supporting player in “Anything Goes” and Jonah getting in trouble for bullying.
Wet Hot American Summer— The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It’s the last day before everyone goes back to the real world, but there’s still a summer’s worth of unfinished business to resolve. At the center of the action is camp director Beth, who struggles to keep order while she falls in love with the local astrophysics professor. He is busy trying to save the camp from a deadly piece of NASA’s Skylab which is hurtling toward earth. All that, plus: a dangerous waterfall rescue, love triangles, misfits, cool kids, and talking vegetable cans. The questions will all be resolved, of course, at the big talent show at the end of the day.
BoJack Horseman— Will Arnett voices BoJack, the failed legendary 90’s sitcom star from the favorite family sitcom Horsin’ Around, who has been trying to find his way through a muddle of self-loathing, whisky and failed relationships. Now, in the presence of his human sidekick Todd (Aaron Paul) and his feline agent and ex-paramour Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack is primed for his comeback…
F is for Family— From comedian Bill Burr and EmmyⓇ award-winner Michael Price, F is for Family transports viewers back to the 1970s, a time when political correctness, helicopter parenting and indoor smoking bans weren’t part of anyone’s vocabulary, let alone the norm.
Love— This romantic comedy web series created by Judd Apatow features a “down-to-earth look at dating” and explores male and female perspectives on the thrills and agonies of modern romantic relationships faced by the rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus.
In addition to the shows and movies listed above, Netflix plans more comedic relief this year. Fans of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee who have loved seeing Seinfeld joining friends for a cup of coffee while driving in a classic car and sharing stories along the way will be excited for more 20 episodes that will air exclusively on Netflix towards the end of this year. Seinfeld also plans to film two new stand-up specials, also just for Netflix.
Netflix also announced they’re beginning production on a reimagined Queer Eye for the Straight Guy series with the mission to Make America Fabulous Again thanks to five brave men who will bring us closer together with laughter, heart, and just the right amount of moisturizer. As a fan of the original Bravo series, I hope this will be just as good as the original!
I am a Netflix Stream Team Member and while I am not compensated, my family does enjoy a complimentary Netflix subscription and other items for my involvement.