October 27, 2015

The Charlie Brown Cloud

Have you ever felt stuck?

My friend Jen and I have a term called The Charlie Brown Cloud. You know how the cartoon Charlie Brown always seems to be doom and gloom, like a rain cloud is following him around? When Jen and I used to be coworkers and one of us would be in a bad mood, we'd ask each other,

"Is it a Charlie Brown Day?"

This summer, I found myself with plenty of Charlie Brown days. I had low energy, a packed schedule of weddings and showers, and my attitude was anything but cheery. Eventually I knew I had to start making some changes if I wanted to get to a better place.

Below are some of the things that changed my view. Enjoy!

Pick Up A Racket

...or a book, or a rolling pin. Basically, try something new. In September, I started taking tennis lessons on Tuesday nights. While I'm the worst person on the team, it helps me use a completely different part of my brain. As someone who works with words all day, it's good to switch gears sometimes. After a two hour session, I always feel lighter, happier, and clearer.

Take A Break

While you can't always take a break from life, sometimes you need to identify something that isn't serving you anymore. This winter, I took a break from dating, and in the spring, I took a hiatus from blogging. I learned that taking time off doesn't mean you've given up. Usually, the clarity from taking a break brings a new perspective, and a new start.

Give Back

Volunteering is one of the best ways to see outside of your own situation. I joined two different volunteering positions this spring. One of them is the GEM girls e-mentorship innovation, a program focused on pairing professional women with at risk girls from high priority neighbourhoods in Toronto. The process has made me want to be a better, more positive person because as cheesy as it sounds, I want to be a good role model.


This month, I've tried a new routine of meditation. This translates to five minutes of quiet time before breakfast. I sit on a carpet, take some deep breaths and see what comes up for the start of my day. Sometimes I last two minutes, but believe me, those two minutes, make all the difference.

Self Love is Not About Selfies

There is a difference between posting 300 selfies, and genuinely liking yourself. As someone who is very hard on herself, I indulge in plenty of negative self-talk. It's like sitting with a manipulative frenemy, and drinking a bottle of wine. It feels innocent enough, until you spiral down into believing every terrible word. Some good advice I received was: What would I tell my best friend if she were me? Generally, we all treat our friends with compassion when they come to us with a problem, so why not apply the same rule to ourselves? I'm still learning, but it's a good way to stop the personal punching bag.

In the end it doesn't matter what brings you down, and sometimes there isn't even a real reason. While the above list personally worked for me, if you find yourself more sad than manageable, speak to a professional, or your family doctor for additional help.

There is always a way up.


  1. I get into these moods often! Great post and lovely pic! Hope to see you soon!

  2. Very good advice Amanda, you are very insightful and resourceful and all these will help, some you will stick with and some you may leave to redo at a later date. Love the name of your volunteer group.

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