Sunday, 18 October 2015

Nerd Church! - 5 Bookish Ways to Chase Happiness

Ah happiness, that wriggly little sh** that no-one can ever seem to pin down for very long. What better way to spend this week's Nerd Church than to share a few of my bookish tips for chasing down the little b*****d when it's got away from you (I have a lot of practice at this - depression is the clingy b**ch that scares happiness away every time you tempt it back.) So, with that string of possibly unnecessary, and partially censored, swearing over with...

1. Creative books

Adult colouring has recently become a big thing. And then there are the creative books which I personally prefer - the books like Wreck This Journal which provide a place to just be creative, have fun, and mabooks, music, creativityybe destroy some stuff. What both adult colouring and the other creative stuff have in common is the ability to allow us to work some stuff out - while we don't even realise it. Creative therapy is used a lot to treat kids with mental health problems, and/or who have suffered trauma, why not for adults too? Sometimes we can put stuff on paper that we can't say out loud.

There are some other creative-type books you could try too: an old-fashioned sketchbook, notebook, or journal, to just shove whatever ever is in you out onto a page; sticker books (if adults can colour then goddamn it, I don't see why there shouldn't also be stickers involved;) or activity books for kids. Don't let the target age fool you when it comes to kids activity books, I have an Avengers activity book that I absolutely adore (actually it's a design, inspire, create sketchbook - or something similar - apparently.) There's no shame in expressing yourselves guys, just let it happen. And have fun!

2. Read what you love

Never be afraid to read what you love. If your little heart desires chick-lit (or, as I call it, ditzy books,) then read them. If you're a sci-fi fan, a comic book nerd (guilty as charged!) a fan of literary fiction, or YA, or whatever - just read it.

There is no shame in reading whatever you like - whether that's the infamous 50 Shades of Grey, the equally infamous Twilight, or a biology textbook detailing the breakdown of enzymes in the gut (check me out with my A in GCSE Biology - I still remember the big words and everything,) if you enjoy it, and it's going to help you chase that little sh** happiness down and trap it, then read it.

You might find that reading about the stuff characters are dealing with helps you with your own problems, or helps you to forget your own problems, or just plain entertains you. It's all good, lovely people, it's all good.

reading and coffee3. Libraries and book-shops

For the truly bookish, there is nothing quite so calming/exciting as a walk through a book shop or library. I recommend the library if you're skint, like me. Just stroll along the aisles and look at all the pretty covers - hello pretty covers! Hello worlds within pages! See? Don't you feel better already? Maybe pick up a few, maybe sit down and bask a bit if there's enough comfortable seating. And the world is just that little bit lighter.

4. Get visual

The human brain is a weird and wonderful thing - and it responds remarkably to visual stimulus (i.e. pictures,) so go get some pretty stuff to look at! Obviously, the brighter the better, but if you feel like looking at some dark and broody stuff, then that's good too - just watch that it doesn't make you feel worse.

'But how is this bookish?' I imagine you crying. Well, that's because the best place to get hold of images is accompanied by some form of text ;) - I'm talking magazines, graphic novels, comic books. And there are so many subjects covered by these things that you're bound to find something that interests you. Just the act of flicking through a magazine gives you a little bit of the 'me-time,' that you most definitely deserve.

5. Fangirl/boy it up

Obsession, where would we be without you? But if you join the fandom of your favourite book (or film or whatever) then you can find yourself a little slice of giddy happiness (along with so many tears and feelings - please fangirl or fanboy responsibly, and try not to get yourself slapped with a restraining order.)

Yes, the world of Gifs, memes, fanart, fan comics, and fan fiction awaits you - along with merchandise and cyber-stalking. It's the chance we've all been waiting for - to be part of an equally obsessed online community who are just as twisted and weird as we are. Plus, you can help weave the strands of modern mythology together by reading and writing fanfiction - maybe even about problems you can relate too. If you need recs for fanfiction, feel free to prance over my Friday Fics Fix series (I'll tag this post,) and yes, I used the word prance. And I regret nothing.

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