Memes are the best medicine

How humour helps us cope

I talk a lot about coping mechanisms. You can create your own toolkit to help cope with what life throws at you.

Whether that’s a diagnosed mental health condition or a transient period of difficulty in your life, it’s vital to have an arsenal you can tap into when things get hard. This could be a self-care checklist that past-you guarantees will ease the pain of a panic attack or some sneaky treats that you know will help you dig you out of a low mood.

But how do we cope when the aggressor is the outside world? And it's utterly relentless…

Take last week’s political sh*t show, for example. The elected officials in charge of running the UK government are continuing to say one thing and do another. Whatever your political leaning, I’m sure you can agree that it’s nothing short of disappointing (see also: infuriating) that a senior cabinet member enforced social distancing rules that meant people were unable to visit relatives in their dying days or even hug their children and grandchildren, while also completely disregarding them on tax payers’ dime.

Don’t worry, this isn’t about to become a political newsletter. However, I do think it’s impossible to deny the impact that the political climate is having on our collective mental health - and that’s where this becomes relevant to this newsletter.

Millennials have created one such way of coping with the chaos around us… behold the humble meme.

When an event like Hancock’s affair comes to the front pages, it’s only a matter of time before we, as a nation, look to humour to assist the climb from the pit of despair.

Some highlights from last week include…

Laughter is the best medicine. And making fun of something doesn't mean you don’t recognise the serious repercussions that it may have, it just eases the pain.

What do you think about memes as a coping mechanism to help us process trauma - especially on a national and international level? Do you think it takes away from the seriousness of an event or do you think that we can acknowledge the impact of something while also making fun of it? Let me know on Twitter @ContentByTheSea

♟ On Sunday, we took a break from our weekly Gloomhaven ritual to try a new board game. Dune Imperium is a really fun strategy game that is pretty easy to get your head around - highly recommend for anyone who likes sci-fi and board games (fellow nerds, basically.)

🏖 In a total 180 to the above, I only went and watched the new Too Hot To Handle and I had to put it in here because I would be lying if I didn’t enjoy it. Well, as much as you can enjoy watching something so terrible. I’m not even going to link it. If you want to watch it, you can type it into Netflix yourself and experience the shame just like I did.

📺 On Becoming God in Central Florida (Netflix) - Kirsten Dunst stars in this dark comedy set in the early 90s about the rise of a fictional MLM. We haven’t finished this yet, but it’s a pretty wild ride… not quite Breaking Bad, but good TV nonetheless.

That’s all from me this week. I’ll be back next week with more chat about freelancing, mental health and how the internet is frying all our brains - and we love it.

Ellen x

Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

23 June: Backup plan

17 June: The sun always shines on TV

10 June: Practical tips for panicky people

3 June: Sciatica strikes back

26 May: Looking after yourself is hard

19 May: He just can’t decide

12 May: Getting titillated by the tangible

5 May: Taking it all in

28 April: Be a better cheerleader

21 April: The power of procrastination

14 April: How to sell without feeling icky