The past week was rough. I had surgery to remove a bad mole and a few days later, a four hour dental procedure. My face was poked, prodded, numbed, sliced, drilled and stitched. Neither procedure was super serious, but the double whammy left me feeling tired, sore and vulnerable. If you find yourself going through a tough patch, here are a few things that made me feel better and might work for you.
Watch: Sex Education
This was not a sexy week for me but the Netflix series Sex Education was the perfect distraction from my throbbing head and low spirits. These British teens face every awkward sex situation imaginable, and the way they negotiate physical disparities and emotional entanglements is both tender and hilarious. Sex positive, LGBTQ inclusive and, bonus, Gillian Anderson plays the sex therapist mom. I wish sexuality was handled so openly in real life.
Sip: Recess Hemp Drink
Alcohol acts as a blood thinner and inhibits healing, so I had to lay off for a while. As a slightly decadent substitute, I’ve been enjoying a can of sparkling Recess in the evening. I tried a few different brands of CBD drinks including Mad Tasty and Vybes, but Recess Black Cherry is my favorite. It has a deep fruity flavor with a little bite that tastes delicious and makes me feel relaxed in a centered way. I ordered the trial pack online (shipping is free), but it looks like it’s available at my local Foxtrot market for the same price, $5 a can.
Usually I try to project a positive attitude, but this week I did a lot of whining. You know what? It felt good. I’m not sure my friends, family and random strangers felt as gratified by our interactions as I did. But strangely, sharing the graphic details of the unpleasant procedures and describing the stabbing pain of my stitches and lamenting about how bummed I was that I couldn’t sleep or play tennis made me feel like I was dealing with my problems. Venting lightened my load! Who knew complaining could be so productive? Actually people have studied the value of complaining. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times story, Go Ahead and Complain. It Might Be Good for You by Micaela Marini Higgs.
“Negatively obsessing over something isn’t healthy, but Dr. Kowalski said that “expressive complaining” — blowing off steam — and “instrumental complaining” — which is done with an actionable goal — can both be beneficial. Venting can help us gain perspective and put words to our feelings, Dr. Grice said. When done effectively, it can even help you clearly realize what, specifically, about a situation is bothering you.”
Exactly. When life deals you a blow, complain away! Expressing those negative feelings will make you feel better. Just make sure the person you’re complaining to isn’t worse off than you. I realized that whining to my mother, who just had a knee replacement, wasn’t very sensitive of me.