How To Make A Light Book
(A Book To Make Yourself Feel Better When You're Feeling Down)
The purpose of a "light book" is to make yourself feel better when things seem dark and bleak. It should contain things that that make you feel good about yourself, or give you hope, or simply help you relax and put your mind at ease. Then when you feel down, you can use its resources to pull yourself together enough to get through.
There are many ways to make a light book. You might create it on your computer, perhaps as a word processor document, or you might create it through HTML/CSS. Or if you want to go the non-electronic route, you can use any journal or notebook of your choosing. (A ring binder is a good option, as content can easily be added, removed, or rearranged.)
If you're interested in making this sort of thing for yourself, read on!
Put some thought into how you might make it look nice
Appealing aesthetics are always good for one's mood, so if you can make your light book look good, then all the better!
Maybe you'd like to take inspiration from Medieval manuscripts. Maybe you'd like to make big, splashy titles for your pages. You might put colorful doodles in the margins. Or you might put text over beautiful pictures, or cut and paste bits of images you like. Maybe you'd like to dress up the outside with pretty fabric or drawn designs. Think about what sorts of aesthetics and designs appeal to you, so you can try to incorporate them into your book as you make it.
Exactly what you can or should do will depend on the medium you're working with - there are things that you can do with HTML documents and computer graphics that you can't easily do with a physical book and pictures, and vice-versa. And if you're limited in skills or materials, you might want to make an effort to work its look around what you have, rather than aiming for something that's not really feasible for you to accomplish right now.
Here are some resources you might look into:
- 53 Ideas for DIY Journals, Diaries, Smash Books and All the Extras
- Aging & Distressing Paper
- HTML Dog
- Code Academy - HTML & CSS For Beginners
- From Old Books (free images from old books)
- Pixabay (public domain photos)
Think about what you might put into it
There's a large variety of content you might place into your light book. What exactly you should put into it will depend on your personal needs and preferences. Here are some suggestions to consider:
A list of things that make you feel better. Whether activities, exercises, foods, recipes, movies, songs, YouTube channels, etc., write down the things that make you feel better when you're down. Make sure that you include things that you can do when you're low on energy or motivation, because this book is supposed to be able to help you at those times.
Ways you want to make the world a better place, and ways you can do that. Sometimes we feel that the world is a terrible place and that there's nothing we can do to make it better, but that's rarely really true. There's often something we can do to make it better in some small way - and even if we can't save the whole world, sometimes we can save someone else's world if only for one day. Even something as small as paying a compliment or sharing an uplifting news article can make a difference. If you need ideas, you can go over here.
Quotes that inspire you or make you feel better. Whether from fiction, or from real people, or even things you thought of yourself at some point.
A list or tally score of the times you've done something positive or brightened someone's day. Sometimes we forget about the good that we've done, and we start to think of ourselves as worthless and useless. Keeping a record of the positive things you've done (even if it's as simple as drawing someone a picture or paying a compliment!) can help remind you that it's not really true.
A list of good things that have happened to you. Sometimes it can feel like nothing ever goes right in our lives, so keeping a list of good things can help remind us that's not really true.
A list of things you're grateful for. Write out a list of things that you appreciate in your life. Maybe it's people you talk to online, maybe it's books or movies you enjoy, maybe it's having hot tea, or maybe it's your pets. Anything, as long as you're glad to have it, goes.
A list of nice things people have said to you. It can sometimes be easy to worry that we aren't really loved or appreciated, so keeping track of nice things people have said can help counter that.
Pictures of things that you like, or of things that make you happy. Whether you draw or take them yourself, or cut and paste them from magazines, or source them from free image websites.
A list of moments in stories that made you feel good. Was there something that happened between two characters that made you feel all warm and fuzzy? Was there something a character accomplished that felt awesome? Make a list of moments like these.
Positive real-world events. With the news constantly screaming doom and gloom at us, it's easy to start thinking that the world is nothing but bad. Consider keeping a list of good things that have happened in the past - and keep an eye out for more good things to add. (Uplifting News and the Good News Network are a couple of places to keep an eye on for that.)
Compassionate messages to yourself. Pretend that you are offering advice and comfort to someone with the kinds of problems you face, and write a message to that person. Then when you feel these problems getting you down, go and read that message.
Fidget toys. If you're using a physical book, you might be able to place one into a pocket inside of it, or tie it to a binder clasp. If you're making your book on a computer, you might link to something like virtual bubble wrap or Flame Painter.
What not to put into it
Obviously, you want to avoid anything that's just going to drag you down. This can include:
Anything that makes you long for things you don't have. If a picture of a fantasy castle just makes you sad that you live here instead of there, don't include it. If a picture of an attractive person makes you wish you had a romantic partner, don't put it in.
Anything that makes you feel bad for not being more than you are right now. If it makes you start fretting over not being better looking, more talented, more successful, etc., don't include it.
Anything based in someone else's expectations or demands of you. You don't need anyone else's judgments or think-sos here. Your light book is for you, about you, by you.
And that's about it
And that's all it takes - a lot of things to make you feel good, and nothing to make you feel bad. Once you have your light book, you can pull it out when you're feeling down and search through it to find something to make you feel better. If you feel worthless, go look at the list of the good things you've done or that you could easily do. If you feel hopeless, look at the list of good things that have happened. If your nerves are on edge, look up your list of things that help with that. And so on and so forth. Because, as Albus Dumbledore once put it, happiness can be found in even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on a light.