Everyone has a blah day now and then—it’s part of life. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around waiting for the black cloud to pass over. There are things you can do that will bolster your spirits and bring the sunshine back to your disposition.
I know they work because I’ve tried them out myself—when our dog was lost, when I’m missing my daughter who’s off at college, when I didn’t get invited to a big holiday party…I’d go on, but I don’t want to put myself back into a funk. Better to concentrate on positive blues-busters like the ones below. Try them the next time you’re low and see if they don’t turn your frown upside down.
1. Crank up the tunes. Think of the happiest moments of your life and then make a playlist of songs that were popular at those times. My playlist includes “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and “Jump” by Kris Kross.
2. Just dance. Now that you have your playlist, shake it! The sillier your moves, the better. Don’t even worry if people are around while you’re doing this. Sure, they’ll laugh. But, like the saying goes, laughter is contagious.
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3. LOL. I’ll spare you my corny jokes, but check out some comedy on Netflix. They have stand-up from lots of great comedians, funny movies, and old episodes of SNL. I highly recommend any episode Justin Timberlake appears in. Remember when he dressed up like one of Beyonce’s back up dancers and did “Single Ladies”? I dare you to watch that and not laugh. Double dare you.
4. Phone a friend. Studies show that we tend to mimic the behavior of our peers. So give your fun, upbeat friend a call. Just make sure you don’t spend the whole time dwelling on whatever is making you blue. Keep the conversation light and your emotions will follow.
5. Now you’re cooking. Comfort food is called that for a reason! You’d be surprised how many recipes for healthy versions of the old standards can be found online. Double the recipe and you’ll have leftovers for the week, or you can surprise a friend by dropping dinner off for her family.
6. Stick a pin in it. I’ve recently discovered that Pinterest is addicting. The reason being, it’s fun! Create a board called “Happiness Is” and start pinning. You will literally be picturing happiness, and face it, it’s hard to be bummed out while looking at puppies and rainbows.
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7. Lend a hand. I’ve mentioned this in past posts, but it bears repeating: Helping someone else makes you happier. There’s science to back this up! If you’re short on time, buy someone a cup of coffee or offer to return someone’s grocery cart in a parking lot. If you do have some time, check out volunteermatch.org, a site that matches people with causes.
8. Let there be light. You’ve heard of mood lighting, right? Well, when my mood is dark, I turn to the light. Literally. I light candles and lamps and open up all the curtains. A brighter environment always makes me feel more alert and happy.
9. Book ‘em. If you do flip on all your lights, don’t waste the electricity. Bust out that book you’ve been meaning to read. Most of us have one or two lying around, but if you don’t, go by your local library or bookstore and pick out something uplifting.
10. Take notes. While you’re trying these blues busters, and perhaps some of your own, jot down what works for you. That way, when you have another blah day, you’ll be armed and ready with a happiness “how to” list. That’s what I’ve done—you’re reading it right now!