Links to Comfort and Inspire

May 19, 2023

Even though there is So Much to Do, I’m taking it slow, allowing for extra rest and quiet time, easing back into “normal” life (whatever that is). Since the end of January, I’ve been pushing myself well beyond my comfort zone and digging deeper into and draining my emotional reserves. Over the past few months, I’ve found some solace and distraction in wise words and entertaining videos on the Internet. Here are some of the things I’ve been turning to for comfort and encouragement.

Courtney Carver’s words often resonate with me. Since I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed, this post was comforting. I’m especially taking to heart number 4.

Microjoys, glimmers, simple pleasures…whatever you call them, these little bursts of joy keep me going in tough times. There is always joy to be found.

And speaking of microjoys, some thoughts on happiness from an 80-year-old.

Rather than mindlessly scroll, try one of the suggestions from “7 Productive Distractions to Effectively Reduce Stress” when you’re feeling frazzled.

This is so great—I’d love to open a bookstore with a friend.

Since going through my own hard times, I’m learning how better to support others who are grieving or otherwise suffering. “How to offer help when you don’t know what to say” offers some helpful suggestions.

Rediscovering the joy of play—I’ll have more to say about the power of fun in a future blog post.

I’ve been watching The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning on Peacock and (no surprise) it’s hitting me in all the feels…in a good way. Each episode so far has offered me at least one tiny insight into the process of grief, decluttering, or living life to the fullest. 

One of my favorite Broadway touring shows of all time was the first show we saw during the 2022-2023 season: Six. To round off today’s post, here’s a link to the first number of the show:  

What have you found online that has boosted your mood lately?


A Cup of Comfort Link Love

July 29, 2022

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

As I gathered the links for this post, I found a definite theme emerging: comfort. Whether it’s looking at (or listening to) lovely things or pondering ways to protect our mental health, these links offer both an escape and ways to protect ourselves from an onslaught of terrible news. (Plus, I think they’re fun!) Hope you enjoy them, too.

There are some excellent suggestions in Happiful’s “10 Things to Do Instead of Doomscrolling.”   

Click here for The Guardian’s 50 Cheeriest Social Media Accounts.

And speaking of Doomscrolling, click here for a summary of “33 Problems with Media in One Chart.”

For those of you who want to do a jigsaw puzzle without the cat knocking the pieces onto the floor, give one of these a shot.

Look—baby tigers!

For anyone who has always wanted a card catalogue of their own: “It’s All in the Cards: How Organizing My Library Is Helping My Brain.” Not everyone would enjoy this, but I think it would be extremely satisfying.

These are exquisite.

I will always have a place in my heart for Paris, so I loved seeing Georgianna Lane’s “Early Summer Moments in Paris.” 

How to make the most of a mental health day.

Guilty as charged: “Why Women (and Men!) Love the Hallmark Channel.”

Just wow:

Have a happy weekend!

P.S. To round out today’s links, for anyone who hasn’t already heard, here’s a piece I wrote for the 2022 Tampa Bay Official Destination Guide.



The Dark Side

February 10, 2014

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit MIA here lately—ironically, or perhaps not as I’ll explain below—the author of a blog called Catching Happiness has been coping with a bout of depression.

I chose “catching happiness” as a theme for the blog because I’m not a naturally “happy” person. I’m naturally anxious and a little depressive. Since I know my default setting leans toward “sad” I work to look for the bright side, searching for the positive to counteract my natural tendencies, and mostly I’m able to maintain an optimistic outlook and attitude. When the dark side looms, sometimes there’s a triggering event, and sometimes it creeps up on me without my noticing…until I start to feel better, not realizing until then how unhappy I’d been feeling. Fortunately, I’ve never been suicidal, and I’ve never been so depressed that I couldn’t get out of bed. Sometimes, though, like during the past couple of weeks, it’s taken most of my energy to keep up with the basics.

Over the years, I’ve learned that during down times, I need routines and behaviors I can reach for when I begin to slide. The trick is making preparations before the darkness hits, because once it does, it’s too late to come up with ways to cope. To support myself, I focus on three things:

  • Comforts. My comforts include warm drinks like coffee and tea (my current favorite is pumpkin tea), settling under a throw blanket to read, using a heating pad for stressed-out achy body parts, warm baths (I see a definite trend towards warming myself), something funny to read and/or watch (what helped last week: Blandings), and pet therapy from Prudy, Scout and Tank.
  • Encouraging words. I have a stack of 3 x 5 cards with encouraging and uplifting quotes I’ve found, and when I’m down, I read them. Two of my Pinterest boards (Truth and Words Are Fun) focus on uplifting and encouraging words, and another contains pins that made me laugh. Posts from these blogs (click on name for a link to the post) have been helpful, as well: The Bloggess; Hyperbole and a Half and Stepchick. And instead of withdrawing, I’m working on communicating better with friends and family.
  • Small, practical things I can do, for myself and for others, to take myself out of my head. I often choose a small task that has been bugging me—the feeling of accomplishment on completing it is larger than the effort it takes to do the task. It could be as small as cleaning the faucet in the kitchen or replacing the batteries in the clock. Anything that will give me a checked off item on a to-do list.
I know that I’m very blessed and fortunate. My life is filled with precious gifts I am deeply grateful for, and I hold tight to those things, including my blog and all of you, when the dark side threatens. I appreciate your patience with me while I work things out. Regular posting to resume shortly!

Do you have any special ways you comfort yourself during difficult times?