Painting and Gaming My Way Through Grief (#TheSundayPost)

Posted March 26, 2023 in Arts & Crafts, Life Updates / 4 Comments

The Sunday Post

Trigger warning: grief/bereavement

The Latest in my Life 🌦️

To say this year has been tough so far would be an understatement. We lost my mum back in January and since then I’ve just been on autopilot, putting out fires in each area of my life and doing my best to keep some semblance of normality. It’s been a perfect storm of indescribable grief, work stress, financial worries, parenting challenges and an infinite list of chores and admin tasks. My nervous system seems to be stuck in “flight or fight” mode even when I’m supposed to be resting. It’s exhausting.

Amidst all this, I’ve been overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness of my community. Friends and colleagues have sent flowers and a wonderful, thoughtful care package. My friends from choir kept me going with homemade meals and cakes for weeks. I’ve had so many messages about how loved my mum was. I’m also lucky to have such a close family. We’ve all been holding each other up with a mixture of emotional support, practical help and dark humour.

Some of the thoughtful gifts I received from my friends.

I’m taking each day at a time and slowly finding my way back to myself. The little victories are worth celebrating. A few weeks ago I started wearing makeup and looking after my skin again, so I look a little less like a zombie. I’ve started reading before bed and am getting decent sleep. I’ve gone back to choir and been out to eat with friends and family.

Last weekend was tough because it was my mum’s birthday on Saturday, followed by Mothers Day on Sunday, but we tried to make the best of it. My daughter made me breakfast in bed and got me a lovely card and bracelet. We took my mum-in-law and Grandma out for lunch with my sister-in-law and her family too.

We’ve had a little sunshine here in Lincolnshire and daffodils have sprung up everywhere, reminding me that warmer, brighter days are coming.

Mauve tulips and yellow daffodils in a ceramic jug with bees and flowers painted on it.
Some pink tulips from my mum-in-law and some daffodils from my Grandma, both for Mothers Day.

Creating 🎨

I’ve also dabbled in some creative things, like painting and scrapbooking. I painted some pebbles and a wooden box with a galaxy theme a few weeks ago, using a kit that my sister got me for Christmas. I’m still not sure what I’m going to use the box for, but it was fun to make.

The box and pebbles I painted with my galaxy rock painting kit.

Today, I experimented with watercolour brush pens. I’m not the best at art, but I find it very therapeutic as I almost go into a trance-like state.

A watercolour painting of a wildflower meadow with a stream running through it and purple hills in the distance. The sky is washed with an orange sunset. Painted by Anstice Brown in March 2023.
An experiment with watercolour brush pens.

Watching and Listening 📺

  • I enjoyed this series of The Apprentice but this was probably the most unimpressive set of candidates yet! There were some horrible branding choices.
  • I got the DVD boxset of Peep Show for Christmas and am currently working my way through it. I wasn’t sure about it at first but am getting more into it now we’re on series 2.
  • I watched Everything Everywhere All At Once the other day and it was bizarre but captivating. The mechanics of the multiverse and the philosophical elements were interesting and it was darkly funny too. Definitely worth a watch.

Playing 🎮

I’ve played about 200 hours of Disney Dreamlight Valley since December. I don’t usually play one game so consistently, but it’s been perfect to escape into when I’ve needed some relaxation. It’s a light-hearted and nostalgic game with no “threat” factor. I just enjoy exploring the different biomes, gathering ingredients, cooking, crafting and decorating my home. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who struggles with stress or anxiety.

Tizzy Brown Disney Dreamlight Valley decorated for Easter

I will use practically any excuse to start a new notebook, so of course I had to make a Dreamlight Valley journal to list all my goals and catalogue all of the flowers, gems and recipes. I decorated it with some Disney stickers that I didn’t know what to do with. That inspired me to start a nature and mood scrapbook, so I ended up ordering a ton of metallic markers and pretty watercolour stickers. I’ll share some photos when I’ve finished a full two-page spread.

Singing 🎵

I’ve been back at choir for a few weeks now and we’re preparing for our spring concert, which will be on the 21st April. We’re practising a mixture of new songs and some we did when we first got together, all of which are uplifting and fun to sing. I always leave feeling so much better after having a laugh and singing my heart out.

I need to do some work on my breathing technique, though. I have a tendency to take shallow breaths and strain myself reaching the higher notes. I know the theory of breathing into the abdomen but find it quite difficult to put into practice.

Quote of the Week 💬

"So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that's not what I actually needed. What I needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered."
Quote by John Green.
Sunday Post meme badge from Caffeinated Reviewer, featuring a cartoon woman reading the newspaper with a pot of tea next to her.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

“It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.”

The Sunday Salon meme badge from Readerbuzz, featuring a bright yellow and orangesunrise

The Sunday Salon is a weekly meme hosted by Deb @ Readerbuzz.

“Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one’s earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.”

Do you enjoy gaming or painting? What do you do to get yourself through hard times? Let me know in the comments!

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4 responses to “Painting and Gaming My Way Through Grief (#TheSundayPost)

  1. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that! Sending all my condolences and best wishes…

    I love games like that, some of those relaxing games can be amazingly therapuetic I believe…

  2. It’s good that you’ve had support. I’m sorry you’re going through so much. Last year, actually the last few, have been people I know dying left and right. It was horrible.

    It’s April, so I’m focused on the #AtoZChallenge.
    Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month.
    And I’m running a giveaway on my blog.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

  3. We all deal with grief in our own way but it does sound like you are doing better. The firsts of everything (like your Mum’s birthday) are always tough. That is a brilliant quote.

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