Oftentimes, when I’m feeling a way about something I look over at my dog and become unreasonably jealous of her life. She never has to wake up early, she’s always cute, and on the rare occasion that she acts like an idiot she has the whole “dog” thing going for her, so I can’t really blame her.
Whenever I’m going through problems in my relationship I become especially jealous. Dogs never have to deal with romantic relationships and the bullshit that comes with them, and while I wish I could just adopt their “bag ‘em and tag ‘em” philosophy (I think that’s actually a fishing term?), I can’t. I’m a human that gets involved in relationships with other humans, and sometimes they end in heartache. Throughout my most recent breakup, my dog has unknowingly offered the greatest advice anyone has yet, just by being her.
1. Eat food and drink water.
This seems like pretty common, staying alive-type knowledge, but I know that for me, basic self-care like feeding my body fuel in the form of calories and hydration is one of the first things that go right out the window when I’m grieving. So eat something, anything, even if it’s just pizza Combos, because it doesn’t have to be healthy/good/technically food,—just keep your blood sugar high enough to keep you from making any really bad decisions (crazy haircut).
Make a nice little nest, watch the shittiest movies, and sleep it off, because the sadness/anger/remorse/anger/sadness/Googling 1990’s Madonna lyrics roller coaster can be really exhausting.
3. Go outside.
Pull yourself out of bed, put even the bare minimum amount of clothing on that won’t get you arrested (they don’t even have to be clean!) and go outside. You don’t have to shit out there, just get out of your apartment for even one minute and breathe some fresh air, you can always go right back in.
Whenever I’ve shared with people that my clinical depression has led me to new lows, it’s been my experience that at least one asshole will offer me the infinitely profound wisdom of “move a muscle, change a feeling” or however the saying goes (I’ve never actually listened to the entire thing as my brain automatically defaults to an “ERNT ERNT ERNT, abort, leave this conversation, this guy doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about and clearly thinks depression is just being super bummed that they ran out of French toast sticks at the drive through this morning”, sound.) If you feel that your life has little to no meaning and you worry that you may hurt yourself or someone else, please seek guidance from a professional. It really, REALLY helps. If the thought of changing from your sweatpants into shorts is too much, resulting in a pair of uneven sweat-shorts that you managed to cut while still lying down because you’re “done with love and seriously, just FUCK EVERYTHING!”, maybe just find some yoga on the Internet? Or not?
5. Fake it ‘till you make it.
You know when you tell your dog to sit sometimes and they’re like “ok, here I go, I’m sitting, give me food!!!” but when you look down you see that their ass is kind of hovering just off the ground in an attempt to get away with something? Well you get to do that for a little while! If you have a personal day, take it. If you’re like me and don’t have them, just keep showing up, do what you need to do to get your job done, then go home and repeat steps 1-4 until you start to feel better/cannot stomach another spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar.
If this advice isn’t helpful you can also try getting sprayed by a skunk, as she seems to enjoy that too.