October 23, 2007

Ways to Feel Better

Today I'm going from 50mg of Zoloft down to 25mg; soon I'll be weaning off it entirely. I remember from the last time I went off it that I had headaches, listlessness, lots of sadness, lots of "what's the point of anything?" and "nothing is fun anymore" feelings. Since I knew to expect that, it wasn't TOO bad: I just kept reminding myself that this was the medication-reduction talking, not my actual brain. And before long, I felt fine again.

So! I am looking for ways to combat sadness. Here are some of the things that work for me:

1) Caffeine
2) Turning on lots of lights
3) Nice smells (scented candles, scented soaps, scented shampoo)
4) Funny books (Dave Barry, Colin McEnroe, Jeeves books by P.G. Wodehouse)
5) Treats, especially of the warm cookie sort
6) Exercise (sometimes: this can also backfire on me and make me more tired and also discouraged and weepy)
7) Hot food, especially creamy-chicken-casserole things
8) Shopping, especially at Target

More tips?


the new girl said...

MODERATE exercise is the key. Nothing too strenuous, just a brisk walk, like. That always does me good.

Good chocolate, ice cream.

David Sedaris.

Giving someone else a pep talk.


the new girl said...

I meant good chocolate.

AND ice cream.

Just to clarify.

Don't want any confusion there.

nikki said...

Finding a way for just you time. A walk by yourself or a good soak in the bath tub while the hubby ushers the kids outside/to a park to give you a bit of peace and quiet. I also second the chocolate.

CAQuincy said...

When I feel the "depths of depression" upon me, I pull out the ol' Jane Austin books. Not in the mood to read? THEN I pull out my BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" and connect with my inner-Bridget Jones.

So, yeah. A good, fun book, or a good, fun movie.

Mommy Daisy said...

Those sound like great ideas. I always make sure there is chocolate. And if I manage to score some "me" time, then a funny movie is in order as well.

Jess said...

Being outside, if the weather is nice. Getting things done--like having a small, manageable list of tasks to accomplish, and slowly getting through them.

Flibberty said...

Make sure you are wearing comfy clothes. Nothing adds to my sad feelings more than restrictive clothing.

tulipmom said...

A pile of magazines and some uninterrupted alone time to read them.

moo said...

putting my toes in cool grass.

funny, open-mouthed baby kisses.

my favorite CDs and DVDs ("girly movies" rock!)


el-e-e said...

Lunch on a Saturday at a girly place with a girlfriend or two? Panera Bread, or La Madeleine, or something like that. :)

Giselle said...

You have got to read "Momfidence!: An Oreo Never Killed Anybody and Other Secrets of Happier Parenting", by Paula Spencer.

She is a professional writer with 4 kids...and this book is friggin' HILARIOUS. She just makes you feel good about being a mom the way MOST of us are moms...not the ideal that the Cleavers emulated in the 50s. I think you would especially appreciate it, since you have a large family like she does.

Highly, highly recommend it.

Jess in Nebraska said...

-a bubbling hot bath

-fresh air

-guilty pleasure food (for me that would be rice krispie bars with p.b. and chocolate, pringles, cookie dough...to name a few)

-A good laugh with the funniest person you know

-Reading about someone who's going through a terrible time (always a humbling experience when I'm feeling 'down')

But most importantly....


Misty said...

Um. Well. Whatever you do, don't clean!

I know when I am feeling lousy, it helps to sit on the floor and play with the kids and just focus on them, to the point of pretending that nothing else in the whole world exists except what is happening in my living room right then. Then I can feel how lucky I am and how beautiful/fabulous they are. Hard to feel sad with lovies romping all around me.

Erin said...

Music. But not David Gray-type music. Something cheesy and ridiculously upbeat... like the soundtrack to Footloose. Seriously. Music can completely change the environment.

Tessie said...

These are all great. I like cooking, and going to the mall. Also, looking at the Christmas catalogs. Adding and removing things from my online shopping carts. And silly movies.

Shelly Overlook said...

I'm emailing you a creamy chicken casserole-y recipe that is a easy and good. It always makes me feel better.

Shannon said...

Yes! David Sedaris books/tapes are a MUST!!!!

Di said...

I'm with the folks here on the music.

Happy, dancey pop music always makes me feel better. (80s hits? Show tunes)

Also, I don't know where you live, but sunshine - get outside!

Lots of water. Drink water, I find that if I am dehydrated, I'm a little depressed.

Cold caffeine, like a diet coke or some such.

Good luck!

Katie said...

Hmmm...these all sound like great suggestions. I may need to try a few myself.

Can you nap at all? That always helps me. And, music is a GREAT idea! Even just having NPR on all day really makes me feel better about life!

Katie said...

Shelly Overlook--I think we need that recipe here in the comments section! I LOVE creamy chicken casseroles!

JMH said...

Nostalgia cheers me up. I like to look at (and laugh at) old high school yearbooks, scrapbooks, my wedding video (still makes me so happy!!! 9 years later!) videos of my kids when they were toddlers, etc.

Also, reading Swistle blogs ALWAYS puts me in a better mood :)

Pickles & Dimes said...

Bubble baths.

Naps on the couch with a fuzzy blanket.

Hot chocolate.

Painting your toenails a sexy color.

And Shelly, where is that chicken casserole recipe??? :)

Jess in Nebraska said...

Oh yes, Shelly - pass on the recipe!!!!! I need some new ones!

LoriD said...

I like baking something different (like bread from scratch) or cooking up a big pot of soup or stew.

Also, a really long, hot shower.

Chraycee said...

The Stephanie Plum series of novels (Starting with One for the Money, and ending with Lean Mean Thirteen) by Janet Evanovich and the Shopaholic series of novels by Sophie Kinsella actually make me laugh out loud.

MrsGrumpy said...

Delight in the existance of your children, and your husband. I know it is looking at my kids that keeps me from losing it these days. I don't mean this in a mopey way at all. I read another blog about a month before this all happened that lent me a new appreciation for all that I had. And I had a lot. I hope the weaning goes well for you. I stupidly took xanax for that first month, and, while it dulled the reality...coming off and coming back to reality really sucked. Swistle, you handled your mother in law visit so very well that you should be awarded with a medal at the very least. I just got off the phone with my mother in law and immediately thought of you...and was grateful that she's a bit fearful of coming over. I'll shut up now, I feel like I have gone on and on.

Farrell said...

Dave Barry: No wonder I like you:)

Ditto "new girl": David Sedaris, "Me Talk Pretty One Day"

babies in good moods:)

Bubble baths with trashy celeb magazine, a glass of wine and a "DO NOT DISTURB UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NOT EVEN IF THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE" sign on the door.
Then a nap.

Black Sheeped said...

Going for walks, making sure I fix my hair/look decent, yoga (specifically the part of yoga where you lay flat on your back and let yourself just melt into a puddle and not think about anything, which doesn't count so much as "yoga" and more as "napping"). Fresh air always helps me out a ton (open some windows), and talking to a positive friend can cheer me up, too. And when I'm going off a med like that, I always take Advil/Tylenol to fight the flu-like symptoms.

Rene said...

Here's a super easy chicken pot pie/creamy casserole recipe that my family went NUTS for. No exact quantities, be creative.
You need leftover chicken or turkey (or cook up 4 chicken breasts, sliced)
Saute garlic, onion, carrots and peas. Add meat. Add 2 cans Campbell's Cream of Potato soup, one can of milk and season to taste (I use salt, pepper, Worchestershire Sauce, hot sauce, thyme). Pour into casserole dish.
Top with one can of Pillsbury Biscuits (the kind where you smash the can and it cracks open), placed evenly on top of casserole. Brush biscuits with butter and bake 16-18 min. til biscuits are done. The biscuits bake together to form a topping. Yummy, easy and delicious. Enjoy
Reader from Canada.

Kelsey said...

Before the day is out, I will take a break from my project to email my yummy chicken casserole recipe. It is that good and I care about your happiness that much.

Emblita said...

Well, I'd say a pint of your favorite icecream (mine is ben and jerry's mint chocolate cookie *drool*)and the funniest book of all time: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

That and kisses and massages from your hubby :p

Kathryn said...

I would give Christopher Moore and Christopher Buckley a try--both are authors who never fail to make me laugh. With Christopher Moore, my favorite is definitely Lamb. Christopher Buckley, I'm not sure I have a favorite--maybe No Way to Treat a First Lady.

Kathryn said...

Oh, and ditto on the Stephanie Plum recommendation.

mom of the year said...

Shopping, light exercise, and good books. The caffeine did a number on my withdrawal, so I skipped it during my anti-Paxil phase. Good luck and hang in there!

samantha jo campen said...

TOTALLY the Stephanie Plum series. Makes me BURST out laughing. And the sexual chemistry between her and another character is niiiiiiice.

I like to watch (I admit this freely and without embarassement) America's Funniest Home Videos. There's always something that an animal or a cute kid does that makes me DIE laughing. And a good trampoline montage is funny no matter what. But don't, I repeat DON'T watch one with Bob Sagat as the host. That will only make you feel worse. I suggest the newer episodes, from the year 2000 on.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

love the suggestions. here are mine:

Dancing to the cheesiest music from your childhood.

"Anchorman" or other funny movie that gives you the giggles.

alyce said...

getting a pedicure

shopping at target is always cathartic (unless money is tight and then i spend the new few hours berating myself for spending $150 on deodorant and "stuff")

chick flicks (my standbys include: notting hill, while you were sleeping, you've got mail, sleepless in seattle, and pride & prejudice [ed, not a complete list])

debbie said...

Oh, you want chicken casserole?
Go here: http://tinyurl.com/2ctl2f

1hot&tiredmama said...

How about a Grateful Journal? Everyday write down 5 things you are grateful for. Each subsequent day read the previous lists and try to name new things each day. Seeing all the great things in your life actually written down can make you feel so good.

Why don't you start your list with this one: MIL has gone home (yay)!

Misguided Mommy said...


dammit now i want that

Marie Green said...

Go for "brain candy"- like People magazine or US weekly, or anything by Jennifer Weiner. I also LOVE David Sedaris- and that reminds me- have you ever listened to This American Life? It's an NPR show, and it SUCKS me in and I forget about everything else. You can listen online. www.thislife.org

Ira Glass is the bomb! Let WBEZ Chicago drain your troubles away!

Pann said...

These suggestions are all wonderful.

For music, I really enjoy Keb Mo. His sexy voice singing "I was wrong, and I admit it" to me... I imagine whichever person who should be telling me they were wrong saying that. Oh I love that.

Also, naps with a cat. That is my all time favorite feel-better activity. Especially naps with a cat and a Neil Gaiman book.

the new girl said...

*squints, looks around*

*cups hands around mouth*

'Yoooo-hoooooo! Swiiistle?! Swiiiiiiiiiiiisssstle?!'

*hopes you're off shopping at Target and feeling a little better.*

Melospiza said...

I second the Jane Austen novels...for some reason, reading about petty people in a completely insular, provincial world never fails to calm my anxieties. Especially if my anxieties involve my MIL (hmmm...)

But, I now have a new weapon: Oatmeal Scotchies!

I admit, I was a little dubious. My first reaction upon eating an oatmeal raisin cookie is always this would be a lot better if it was a chocolate-chip cookie. Or, Damn. I need to be sure to come early the next time so I don't end up with the loser cookies. But Oatmeal Scotchies? OMG. So not an oatmeal raisin cookie.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I like yummy tea and scones or other baked goods and the company of a good friend or a good book if friends aren't available.

Swistle said...

Everyone who mentioned music- GREAT IDEA. Is it weird that I had not thought of that at all? I don't even have a way to play music in the house. Must remedy.

Everyone who sent recipes- THANK YOU. Will try!

Everyone who mentioned Stephanie Plum- Okay, okay! I'll try her!

Everyone who mentioned David Sedaris- I LOVE him! Also Augusten Burroughs.

The New Girl- Oh, yes. Clearly. Chocolate AND ALSO ice cream. Also, HOW DID YOU KNOW I WENT TO TARGET? *looks around suspiciously for monitoring devices*

CAQuincy- Upside of movie: cute guy to feast eyes upon. Upside of book: can more easily picture self in girl role.

Flibberty- I have on comfy undies RIGHT THIS MINUTE! Also, jeans with stretchy stuff mixed in with the denim.

Moo- Good idea about baby kisses. I got a bunch of smoochies from Henry this morning.

El-e-e- Ooo, Panera. I love their broccoli soup, with yummy bread dipped into it. Good comfort food.

Giselle- Adding to reading list...NOW.

Misty- I tried that yesterday afternoon, and you're right: I lay on the bed and twins crawled all over me, and it was hard to feel sad. Squashed and elbowed, yes. But sad, no.

Tessie- I think I'm going to work on an Avon order.

Di- I've heard that about dehydration, but had forgotten about it. Drinking water--ACTIVATE!

Pickles & Dimes- Great idea about nailpolish. I have some new ones to try, too. I'm thinking red on the toesies, black on the fingies.

Emblita- I love Good Omens! I should re-read it.

Kathryn- I love Christopher Moore! Lamb is my favorite, too!

Alyce- I tried the Target suggestion today!

Melospiza- I am exactly the same about oatmeal raisin vs. Oatmeal Scotchies.

Nowheymama said...

Thank you so much for this post and the Target post. I really needed them this week.