Silver linings are the glimmers of hope that make facing the next thing easier. They may not fix everything – I mean, they sure as hell don’t – but when there’s no breathing room between the rock and the hard place, silver linings are the memories we’ll be grateful for.
Now anyone who says that silver linings are easy to notice and appreciate is lying. When in the midst of a bad day, everything that falls in front of you can feel like another blow to your armour, so searching for glimpses of peace or joyfulness is difficult. Bad days are exactly that – bad. They change our headspace and make us predict the next bad things that will come along – a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me.
Searching for the not so bad things has been a journey for me. I made a commitment long ago to try and be more positive and after months and months, I do find myself stopping and noticing a beautiful sunset or taking a sip of tea and feeling it soothe me. It’s taken practice, but the best things do, right?
Today I’m sharing a few things that are often my silver-linings on bad days (which unfortunately have been coming thick and fast lately). At a glance, a few of these things are just things that happen – but with a little work, they’re so much more than that.
A surprising kitty cuddle
Whenever I’m feeling down, my favourite cat, Sherlock, just knows. He follows me around and plops himself down next to me. He mushes his paws all over me and my fluffy dressing gown (which I’m almost always wearing) before curling up and properly snoozing. I’ve always found this with animals, and I’m starting to feel as if they have a greater sense than we realise – or maybe I only notice my cat loving me when I’m down.
Usually, rom-coms and predictable storylines don’t win my vote for movie night. On bad days, however, the spark of onscreen romance can be what lightens the weight on our shoulders. I do roll my eyes at spectacular declarations of affection but ultimately, people fall in love – with people, with moments with things or with memories. Love happens and keeps the world going round – so should always be welcomed as a silver lining, even if the only love in your life right now is the love you have for baked beans… it exists somewhere and that’s enough somedays.
Support from those who owe you nothing
I can’t even begin to describe how many times a positive blog comment or Twitter mention has turned my day around. Whenever I receive words or support and kindness about my blog (which I really do put my heart and soul into) I consider how my friends and followers online owe me nothing at all, but still, choose to support me. On the days where jacking it all in would be the easy option, it’s the support of strangers that really helps me see the light again.
Of course, I support those who I admire online too (we all should). Whether it’s a comment, a share or an out-of-the-blue e-mail, we never know when someone else needs some random, unprompted support, so making it a regular occurrence is the best path to take.
Sometimes something happens in your day that forces you to see something from a different perspective. I’ve been there and sometimes it’s the last thing you want, but a change in perspective can be a blessing in disguise. I’ve learnt to recognise this (sometimes abrupt) change as progressive and pretty darn vital to the turn around of a bad day.
Oh my god, Becky. When will I stop talking about sunsets? Not yet – that’s when. A beautiful sunrise or sunset genuinely resets my mind a little. The colours, the pure natural beauty even the relief that it’s a new day or the end of a bad one, they do it for me. My day could be awful from the minute I open my eyes but catching the sunset during a tough moment alleviates everything for a while. Sunsets happen no matter what the day has been like – good or bad they show up, just like we do I guess.
Realising it’s earlier than you thought
When things have gone downhill and your to-do list has stacked up more than you can bear, realising you have two more hours than you thought can feel like a lifesaver. Now that it’s dark at 5 pm, this silver lining happens literally every day, so I’m loving this burst of extra energy that screams, “YES! You can still do this!”. Until I adapt to the new length of darkness, I’m gonna make the most of this.
Like most people, I have friends that send me very accurate and very funny memes, pictures or horrendous reminders of our past. Most days these things just lead to a small back and forth, but sometimes it leads to old memories being brought up, embarrassing photos being unearthed and a whole lot of giggles – internal or not.
A heart-to-heart with someone wise
Firstly, yes – I said wise instead of old – sue me. Older, wiser adults (because yes believe it or not we are adults too) always give the best advice. Even if they don’t realise it, their experience really shows in the way they react to petty or serious situations. Going into a little chat with my Mum, Dad or Nana I don’t expect my problems to be solved, but I nearly always come out of the chat with a nugget or two of home truth – which almost always helps to snap me out of my bad place.
Fresh, fluffy bed sheets
Do I really need to go into detail on this one? Changing my sheets is my go-to self-made silver lining on a crappy day. If I’ve got my favourite set freshly washed it’s even better. A better night’s sleep, a cosier snuggle downtime, and a fresher, brighter start to the next day – which will almost definitely be less shit than the one just past… promise.