Feeling Sorry for YourselfThis week I’ve been feeling sad. Real sad. So what better way to celebrate my sorrow than by throwing myself a pity party?

Now before you go telling me how pointless a pity party is, hear me out. While long-term self-pity is completely useless and unproductive, short-term self-pity can be highly rewarding. The advantage of the pity party is that you get to wring out all the negative emotion from your body so you don’t spend the next five years in pigeon pose.

You can throw a pity party on the fly, but an even better idea is to plan it out ahead of time. The following eight steps will help you to execute a successful pity party.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 1: Plan Ahead

The first thing you have to do when throwing a pity party is to focus on what you have to be sad about. Write it all down. You’re going to need as much ammunition as possible to keep those tears a’flowin.

Gather items from around your home that trigger self-pity. Have any old pictures of you and your long-lost love? Pull them out from under your mattress and set them aside for the big day. Ticket stubs also work well.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 2: Set the Time & Place

The next step is to decide when and where you’re going to hold your party. In the bathtub? Underneath your favorite blanket on the couch? On top of a bridge?

On top of a bridge is probably not a good idea. In my experience, the best place to throw a pity party is in your bed. On a workday, if possible.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 3: Invite Guests

This step is tricky because most pity parties unfold in solitude. However if you have a dog, cat, fish, or hamster (i.e. any cute being that loves you unconditionally) you may want to send them an invitation to your pity party. Make sure they RSVP.

Please do not create a Facebook event for your pity party. None of your friends really care that much. If they did, you wouldn’t be throwing yourself a pity party.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 4: Plan The Food, or Lack Thereof

Everybody knows that FOOD is what makes or breaks a party. Realize that when you’re drowning in self-pity, you’re going to either want to eat a whole lot of food or nothing at all.

If you’re a vata, you can skip this step altogether. But for everyone else, please make a list of food you’re going to need for your pity party.

If you have a sweet tooth, pick up a tub of Haagan-Daas or some Krispy Kremes. If you’re a carb-addict, grab some chips or a loaf of bread. If you live in Canada, why not try the macaroni & cheese from M&M Meats. I’ve never had it (I’m somewhat vegan) but I’ve heard that it’s good.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 5: Set Up the Music

Good music is essential for a good party. For this party you’re going to need sorrowful music that stirs the soul.

Violins or cellos are always a good choice. Don’t underestimate the power of “The Rose”. Or anything recorded by Lionel Richie during that awkward phase.

Why not make a pity party playlist for your iPod? Then you’ll be all ready to rock next time your boss insults you in front of the entire 6th floor.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 6: Make a Mess

In preparation for a traditional party, you would tidy up. In preparation for a pity party, you do the opposite.

Tears and frustration are best expressed in the midst of clutter. So for a few days before the pity party, make sure not to do your dishes. Don’t vacuum. Let the laundry pile up. You’ll be glad you did.

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 7: Develop a Theme & Dress Accordingly

Memorable parties always have a theme. Pick a theme for your pity party and dress accordingly.

“Under the Sea” theme? Wear your Little Mermaid pajamas. “Hawaiian” theme? I’m sure there’s a grass skirt kickin’ around in your garage somewhere. If all else fails, go with a “disco” theme. You’ll finally get to wear those sparkly spandex leggings you bought at American Apparel last fall (what were you thinking, anyway???)

How to Throw a Pity Party Step 8: Enjoy Yourself

When the day of the pity party arrives, make sure to enjoy yourself. Pity parties don’t happen everyday. Well, they do happen everyday for some people, but usually those people are in prison. And they don’t have access to sparkly pants.

My final point is this: don’t take yourself so seriously. We all get sad sometimes. And there’s nothing wrong with that. :)

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