Silliness: Using “Silly” to Survive

It’s been a while since I last wrote about silliness.


In the past, I’ve written about the silly small moments in our lives being valuable, having a good-natured laugh at myself, and, most recently, Random Acts of Kindness and how they can brighten our days.


Sometimes it seems like it’s getting increasingly difficult to be silly and positive.


I’ve found myself reading a lot on the subject of self care in the face of really bad news (for example, Ann Douglas’ “How to Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed by your Newsfeed”) and restorative narratives to provide a deeper and more meaningful sense of hopefulness (see Images of Voices and Hope)


Currently, we have been continuously, and daily, receiving pieces of bad news after bad news after bad news after bad news, after bad news… I could go on all day. I’m starting to wake up every morning thinking “Okay, world, what’s going wrong now?”


Because something awful is always happening, at any given moment.


I believe that this has nothing to do with our world being more conflict-ridden than the past… I think that we just have the communicative technologies that keep us more globally informed about the many issues that are happening all over the world. The world isn’t more problematic than before, we just know about it.


Between American President Donald Trump (I don’t need to give an example here, almost everything he does is an example of negativity, hatred, and oppression), British Prime Minister Teresa May (ditto: the same goes for her because she’s buddying-up with him), wars and conflicts all over the world, the rampant prejudices and oppressions that clearly still exist in all nations and cultures, and even Justin Trudeau in Canada (remember that voting reform that we were promised and then denied…? Yeah, good times). Not to mention the fact that I’ve only mentioned issues within Canada, Britain, and America, which are a tiny part of the world. There are so many other problems going on in so many other places, a lot of which I’ve never even heard about! HOW CAN I EVEN GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING, KNOWING THAT ALL THESE TERRIBLE THINGS ARE GOING ON?!?


After a while, life can feel like a battle to stay positive.


It can be so exhausting facing so many issues all the time.


In fact, a few weeks ago, I had a Friday morning where exactly that happened.


I woke up, rolled over, and just thought “Why?!? Why get out of bed? It’s cold, I’m exhausted.” The sheer volume of negativity that had been overwhelming us at that time (and is still overwhelming us now) in the news, coupled with what my friend calls “the winter blues” left me with a burning desire to hide away from the world by staying curled up under my covers in my soft, warm bed.


How did I get through that day?


My friend Lisa* (name changed) made it her personal mission to make me smile.


She sent me a message saying “I’m going to take you with me today.” She proceeded to send me photos and silly comments about mundane things in her routine, including, but not limited to: her food, her train to work, the train conductor who checked her ticket, a video of the route she walks to work, a photo of her in uniform pulling a silly face, her break time snack… the list goes on, and it all was mixed in with comments and jokes and emoticons.


Every time a new notification popped up, I couldn’t contain a smile. She was being so silly and supportive at the time – excessively so.


From there, I started looking for funny things: cartoons, jokes, vines, videos, etcetera. For me, Thomas Sanders is a great pick-me-up when I feel down.


By engaging with humour and silliness, I got through that bad day and then was able to take a step back and re-evaluate my life, and make some changes to improve it. I was being so serious all the time and I wasn’t spending any time being silly or engaging with silliness.


We can’t be turned on serious-business social justice machines every moment. Everyone needs a break.


Our mental health definitely depends on it.


They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I think this applies to mental health too. I believe that self-care is super important, and humour is a huge part of that.


You know what they say…


…Ya gotta laugh.


…Ya gotta smile.


And I’d like to add…


…Ya gotta be silly.



What do you think, readers? Are you ever silly? Is there enough silliness in your life? Can silliness help you work through tough times? Does silliness help you keep going through all the really bad news we’ve been getting recently? Leave a comment below if you like – I’m always interested in having a chat!



If you enjoyed this little post on silliness, check out some similar older ones: “Silliness: Reclaiming Silly”, “Silliness: Laughing at Myself”, and/or “Silliness & Strength: Random Acts of Kindness”.


If you’re interested in my teaching, working, volunteering, and/or travel experience, be sure to check out my LinkedIn profile.


Thanks for stopping by!


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