battling negativity -- 6 strategies

My art, my blog, it's all about joy. Obviously life is not all beauty and joy, but it is our choice on what to focus. My choice is joy.

nasturtiums, garden, variegated nasturtiums, Alaska Mix Nasturtiums, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And yet, sometimes I don't feel it.

Lately I haven't been feeling it. I've been moody. Negative. There's nothing wrong. No good reason for it. Everything is fine. Matthias is doing well. And yet...

I know our weather isn't helping. Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain. The end of summer always makes me a bit sad, too. I've had a few artistic disappointments lately, but I've also had artistic excitements (I'm still dancing about this).

Life is ups and downs. Sometimes the downs win.

It helps if we have strategies for battling the negativity.

inspiration, paint chips, reminders, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Here are a few of mine:

  • Write a Joy List (the more I do it, the better I feel).
  • Get lost in a project -- embracing something you don't normally tackle is especially helpful. Try a new recipe, take a class, re-paint a room in your home, refinish furniture (I recently painted my desk chair with one of my favorite colors and reupholstered it with a patchwork of fun fabrics... the project focused my attention and now that I'm finished the chair brings me joy each day).
upcycling furniture, furniture refinishing, patchwork, patchwork upholstery, painted furniture, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry
  • Take time for play. Letting go of more serious tasks and trying something just for the fun of it can help me shake off a funk. My sketchbook is the perfect place for this. Playing with my dogs, singing along to music or dancing in the kitchen while making dinner always bring me a lift, too.
collage, sketchbook, nasturtium flower, play, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry
  • Organize, clean and purge. Cleaning is definitely not my favorite task, but there's something so satisfying about taking the time to clean and organize. If there's a space that you regularly ignore (for me was my desk) put that in order first. You might be surprised how much of a difference it makes to how you feel.
  • Spend time in nature.

luna moth, sketchbook, colored pencils, sketches, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

  • Get off the internet, take a break from social media and generally unplug.

What about you? What are your favorite strategies for battling negativity?


  1. I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling down Anne. I think the weather has a lot to do with our moods especially if we are sensitive to the changes in it. For the last few weeks I have been practising changing my thought patterns. If I think I am going to say something negative - I don't say anything at all! The family dynamics has changed for the better since I started to control my emotions and think before I speak. Matthias getting ill must have taken a great toll on you and maybe now all that is catching up with you. I would suggest that you take some time out to care for yourself. Have a nice luxurious bath or shower, eat something tasty and nurturing and have an early night with a good book! :)

    1. You are so right about the weather. I feel immensely better now that the sun is out.

      I know what you mean about thought patterns. They're hard to change, though. I guess just being aware of them helps, though. Glad to hear that you're finding success with that!

      Your suggestions are all great. Now to get around to doing it! A nice hot bubbly bath would be perfect! :)

      Hope you have a lovely week!

  2. Hi,
    For sure to get off the social network! I just need to let it go and not think I have to post here and there and here and there.

    I agree, our Wisconsin weather can make it a real challenge too.

    I do hope you are safe and well. I know your part of Wisconsin got hit hard in the latest round of storms.

    We will be heading out for a short vacation to South Dakota.
    The Farmer Market is done for me, my flowers did so well. It was a busy summer, I am glad I tried selling at a market. I learned so much. I am meditating on what is next for The Little Garden That Could.

    I will be back in a week!

    Love, Carla

    1. Hi, Carla. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about social media.

      I'm so happy for you and your Little Garden that Could!! Congratulations. Isn't the planning for next year always the most fun! I have plans and ideas galore myself!

      Thanks for your concern. Our area did get hit bad, but we are fine.

      I hope you're having a wonderful time on your vacation!!

  3. Hi Anne,
    First, I am so excited for you that you are in the Artful Blogger magazine! I will have to get a copy!
    I think that weather greatly influences mood, more so in some people than others. I try to get into a creative project, which brings joy, and music is always a mood lifter. I also like to call a good friend, with whom I can share some laughs. Hope you are feeling more perky soon. xo

    1. Thank you, Judy!!! :) I can't even describe how excited I am about that!!

      You are so right about the weather. I am so susceptible to its changes. I need my sunshine! :)

      Thanks for the suggestions for beating a bad mood.

      Hope you're having a wonderful week!

  4. Hi Anne, I feel for you with the rainy weather as my mood is affected by sunshine or lack thereof. You have a good handle on things that make you happy so revisit your previous joy lists and find something there to repeat. Also I recommend wearing pink, even a scarf or nail polish will lift your spirits when you notice it. A break in routine can be a welcome surprise (pancakes for dinner, trying mango chipolte salsa with chips, going to the children's section of the bookstore look at book illustrations ). I agree with the comments above that fresh flowers, music, a good book and calling a friend are my go-to choices for resetting my joy meter. Congrats on the Artful Blogger article too!

    1. I love the idea of wearing pink. Or really, any favorite color would probably help. When it's gray we have to make our own color!!

      Oh, and now you have me craving pancakes! :)

      Thanks so much for your suggestions and congratulations. I'm so excited about the article!!!

      Have a great week!

  5. Forgot to say....congratulations on being featured in the Artful Blogger magazine! Yay! I know someone famous!!! :)

    1. Thank you, Simone! Haha! Not exactly famous. :)

  6. Three best things here...
    Artful Blogger
    that fabulous nasturtium!
    unplugging. quite necessary these days...
    Hang in there buddy! Sending lots of light and love. xo

    1. Thank you, Karen!!

      Yes, unplugging. Why is it so hard!

      Thanks for the light and love. xo


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